Tuesday, July 2, 2013

BJP loses power in Bidar ZP

The BJP lost power in the Bidar Zilla Panchayat after seven of its members who had pledged allegiance to the KJP joined others in voting out president Deepika Sachin Rathod here on Monday.

A total of 19 members, including the seven members owing allegiance to the KJP, five Janata Dal (Secular) members, one Congress member, and four Independents supported a no-confidence motion against the president.

There are 31 members in the ZP with 18 elected on the BJP ticket, five JD(S) members, two Congress, and six Independent members.

The other 13 members, including Ms. Rathod and vice-president Latha Shantkumar Harkude, were absent during voting on the no-confidence motion.

Seven of the BJP members announced that they joined the KJP last year. BJP member Shailendra Beldale went on to contest the Assembly elections on a KJP ticket from Bidar South constituency. The BJP had assumed power after winning 18 of the 31 seats in the House in 2011.

Reserved post

Ms. Rathod was elected president in October 2012 for a 20-month term.

The post of the president is reserved for a woman from the Scheduled Castes and she was the only BJP member eligible. Santoshamma Pundalik Rao of the Congress and Kasturibai Bouddhe of the JD (S) are the other two members from the category. Some of the members who voted for Monday’s motion said Ms. Rao was likely to be elected the next president.

‘Neglected duties’

On Monday, Mr. Beldale who led the group that moved the motion said Ms. Rathod had neglected her duties and had failed to take up development projects. “She did not constitute standing committees even nine months after taking charge as president. She did not hold meetings to discuss and approve the action plan for the ZP,” he alleged.

However, Prabhu Chauhan, Aurad MLA, said: “They were elected on the BJP ticket. They should not have done it.” Ms. Rathod is his relative.

Babu Wali, BJP district unit general secretary, maintained that the seven members who voted for the motion were still in the BJP and said the party was contemplating action against them. “In fact, we have written to the Election Commission of India to disqualify Mr. Beldale who contested as a KJP candidate despite being a BJP member in the ZP,” he said.


Ujjwal Kumar Ghosh, Chief Executive Officer of the ZP, said he would send a report to Regional Commissioner Amlan Aditya Biswas about the motion. “He will fix a date to elect the new president,” Mr. Ghosh said.

BJP sources, however, claimed that the motion was moved as a result of the political rivalry between Mr. Chauhan and Gurupadappa Nagamarapalli, KJP strongman and MLA.

“The ZP is another platform on which their traditional rivalry is being played out,” a senior leader said.