The dubious record of being the first grama panchayat in the district to invite the wrath of the State Election Commission for not properly convening grama sabhas has given a jolt to the administrators of the Left Democratic Front (LDF)-controlled Kuruvattur grama panchayat.
The grama panchayat authorities are planning to adopt suitable legal measures that can save them from the crisis. K. Manjula, president of the grama panchayat, said they would convene a meeting of the members to discuss the issue and take suitable action to lift the disqualification order issued by the Election Commission.
Ms. Manjula said the panchayat, on noticing the complaint by the Opposition regarding irregular conduct of the grama sabhas, had informed the Election Commission about the “valid reasons” behind the issue.
“We have convened not less than three grama sabhas in all the 18 wards of our panchayat. As per our records, we have missed only one grama sabha at these wards, which was due to the election code of conduct,” Ms. Manjula said.
Ms. Manjula denied the allegations that the panchayat secretary was responsible for the non-convening of the grama sabhas. “It was our collective responsibility and we did not want to put the blame on any individual or official,” she said. Referring to the development initiatives taken by the panchayats for local development, Ms. Manjula said the new order would in no way spoil their credibility among voters.
She also claimed that the panchayat was yet to receive any order from the Election Commission regarding the disqualification order.
Kuruvattur panchayat, a stronghold of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) under the Kunnamangalam block, is under LDF rule, which had won 12 of the 18 wards.