Correspondent

CHIKMAGALUR: Unable to face a barrage of questions from members about the functioning of the panchayat, Chikmagalur Zilla Panchayat president Chandramma Manjunath abruptly adjourned the general meeting here on Tuesday.

The meeting which was scheduled to commence at 11.30 a.m. was delayed by half an hour due to the late arrival of Ms. Manjunath. Members objected to this, and cutting across party lines they demanded answers to various anomalies in the functioning of the panchayat.

Without waiting for an answer, they blamed her for the collapse in administration and wanted to know why she drew Rs. 45 lakh for the watershed area development programme without bringing it to the notice of the members.

They criticised her for the delay in the implementation of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act and questioned her about the irregularities in the implementation of total literacy campaign. Ms. Manjunath did not respond.

Ravi Kumar, a member from Tarikere taluk, said the local Assistant Director of Horticulture, claiming proximity to the zilla panchayat president, had insulted him by asking him to get out of his office.

Ms. Manjunath wanted to know who the official was. Before Mr. Kumar could respond, other members started shouting that their questions should be answered. Members continued to criticise her on her style of functioning and delay in implementation of development works. At this stage, Ms. Manjunath said she had not received sufficient information from the officials concerned and was postponing the meeting to April 4 and walked out of the meeting hall.

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