Staff Correspondent

Annapoornamma defects hours before elections to the post of president SP member defects hours before election

DAVANGERE: In a dramatic development, the Bharatiya Janata Party took the reins of the Honnali Taluk Panchayat, where no party had secured a clear majority, by winning both the president and vice-president posts.

Annapoornamma, who was elected to the taluk panchayat on Samajwadi Party ticket, joined the BJP hours before the elections and she went on to get elected as president of the Honnali Taluk Panchayat unanimously. Haleshappa of BJP was elected vice-president, by defeating Congress candidate Lakshmibai.

Anti-defection law

The BJP had managed to pull Annapoornamma to its fold and it selected her for the post of the president. Since Annapoornamma is the only Samajwadi Party candidate, anti-defection law cannot be applied in the case. Apart from the Samajwadi Party candidate's support, the BJP also mustered the support of the All India Progressive Janata Dal candidate and two independent members to win the vice-president post. The BJP, which had no women member belonging to Backward Class "A" category, made Annapoornamma the president.

The president's post is reserved for Backward Class "A" category.

At the same time, it wanted to ensure that the Congress would not get either of the two posts in the taluk panchayat.

In the vice-president's elections, Haleshappa secured 12 votes against nine of Lakshmibai of the Congress.