BJP honchos coercing ZP prez, VP to resign?

BJP honchos coercing ZP prez, VP to resign?

Though the Karnataka Gram Swaraj and Panchayat Raj Act (2015) has made a five-year term mandatory for zilla panchayat president and vice-president, efforts are on to force the current Dakshina Kannada (DK) ZP president and vice president to step down. 

BJP's Meenakshi K and Kasthuri Panja were elected president and vice-president of DK Zilla Panchayat on April 28, 2016, for a five-year term (till April 27, 2021). The president's post is reserved for an SC/ST woman member. The vice president's post is reserved for a woman from the general category.

ZP sources said that BJP leaders were mounting pressure on the ZP president and vice president to resign and pave way for other eligible candidates.


The five-year term of the zilla panchayat, taluk panchayat, and gram panchayat president and vice-presidents were fixed after bringing in an amendment to Section 46 (Gram Panchayat), 138 (Taluk Panchayat) and 177 (Zilla panchayat) of Karnataka Panchayat Raj Act, 1993.

The Section 48 amendment states that: “Adhyaksha or Upadhyaksha of gram panchayat shall resign from his/her office or membership; or is liable for removal on the grounds of proven physical or mental incapacity certified by a competent authority approved by the State Election Commission; or on the grounds of securing employment in Central government or state government or public undertakings”.

“After submitting the resignation, the Assistant Commissioner shall inquire into the cause of resignation and satisfy himself/herself that resignation has not been submitted under threat, coercion, undue influence and allurement; and is submitted voluntarily. The Deputy Commissioner shall also inquire after receipt of a complaint that the resignation is submitted under threat, coercion, undue influence and allurement and is not submitted voluntarily. He shall not accept such resignation in such a case.”

As per the Act, the vice president will submit a resignation to the president and the president will submit resignation to the government. Once, the president and vice president tender resignations, then the Standing Committee on Social Justice chairperson will act as in-charge ZP president.

Two-and-half year term?

When asked about the development, DK BJP President Sanjeev Matandoor said; “Initially, there was a plan to have a president for a period of two and a half years. But no final decision has been taken yet. The BJP has 21 members in ZP (out of 36 seats). There is an SC (woman) candidate for the post of president in the ZP".