Staff Correspondent

The elections are being held after many controversies and delays

Madikeri: The election of the president and vice-president of the Kodagu Zilla Panchayat for the last term will be held here on Friday. The elections will be held after much delay due to various reasons.

The elections were last postponed on September 4 because of a government holiday.

Regional Commissioner Jayanti had announced that election process would continue from where it had left off on August 24. This means that BJP candidates V.M. Vijaya and Kanjitanda Anita and Congress candidates Abdul Latif and Bhanumathi would be the official candidates. The zilla panchayat has 29 members: 16 from the Congress, 10 from the BJP, two from the Janata Dal (Secular) and one independent member. However, these numbers do not tell the whole story. S.N. Raja Rao, the in-charge president who was elected on a Congress ticket, is now a supporter of the BJP. The Congress has suspended from the party the former Minister B.A. Jivijaya’s son, Sanjay, and H.B. Jayamma for anti-party activities. They did not turn up at the August 24 election meeting. H.S. Ashok, the only independent member and president of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Industry, H.B. Ganesh and BJP candidate Mr. Vijaya, who were elected on the Congress ticket, have turned BJP supporters, boosting the party’s strength to 16. Mr. Vijaya was expelled from the Congress following his decision to align with the BJP. BJP sources claim that Ms. Jayamma and Mr. Sanjay are in touch with the party.

The Congress strength is now 11, but V.P. Shashidhar (now in the Congress) and P.B. Manjula of the JD(S) are likely to support the Congress candidates. Bangalore Staff Reporter writes:

The Karnataka High Court on Thursday asked the Kodagu Zilla Panchayat to go ahead with the election of the president and vice-president and dismissed an appeal against the elections slated to be held on Friday.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice P.D. Dinakaran and Justice V.G. Sabhahit passed the order on an appeal by Abdul Latif who had challenged the postponement of an earlier meeting, alleging that the BJP had postponed the election meeting as it wanted to capture power. The government advocate argued that the election meeting had been postponed because of the death of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy. The Bench accepted the arguments of the Government and dismissed the appeal.