Non-dalit ward members quit in reserved panchayat

Non-dalit ward members quit in reserved panchayat

Oct 24, 2021, 04.54 AM IST
Tuticorin: Five ward members elected to the Pitchvilai panchayat in Tuticorin district submitted their resignation to the authorities on Friday as they did not wish to work under a dalit panchayat president in this reserved constituency.

Pitchivilai falls under Tiruchendur panchayat union and has a total of 827 votes, of which only six are dalit votes. However, the post of president in the panchayat was reserved for a dalit woman. Only two dalit women had filed their nominations for the president’s post when the election was held in 2019 as the non-dalits kept off and only thirteen votes were polled. Rajeswari, who secured ten of these votes, was elected panchayat president and assumed charge.

However, as no one contested for the six ward member posts in protest as non-dalits announced boycott of the polls, these posts had been remaining vacant for the past two years. In the absence of a proper council, the president was also not able to do much for the village. It was in this backdrop that elections were held to the six ward member posts two weeks ago on October 9. Six ward members including Vaikundaselvi for ward-1, Kesavan, Natarajan, Sujatha, Yagopu and Parimalaselvi for the other wards were elected. All except Parimalaselvi, whose son died, assumed charge on October 20. The vice-president was to be elected from among these six members for which election was scheduled for Friday.

Commissioner of Tiruchendur panchayat union Rani, assistant block development officer Balamurugan and panchayat president Rajeswari arrived at the panchayat office and waited for the newly elected members to conduct the elections. However, five of the newly elected, except Parimalaselvi, walked in, handed over their resignation letters and walked out.

Tuticorin district collector Dr K Senthil Raj said the resignations has not been accepted. They had informed the State Election Commission about the matter and sought another date for conducting the election to the post of vice-president.

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