Staff Correspondent

Madikeri: S.N. Raja Rao on Wednesday assumed charge as the in-charge president of the Kodagu Zilla Panchayat here. He is currently president of the Social Justice Standing Committee of the zilla panchayat.

The term of president Deerghakeshi Shivanna ended on Wednesday. Following a recent communication from the Secretary to the Department of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj issued to all Chief Executive Officers of the zilla panchayats in the State, the president of the Social Justice Standing Committee would fill the post of president till elections to the post are held.

Mr. Rao, who was elected on Congress ticket from Kudige, switched loyalty to the Bharatiya Janata Party recently.

Though he is a BJP supporter in the zilla panchayat, he is technically in the Congress. Elections to the posts of the president and the vice-president had to be postponed following a stay order from the court recently.

Mr. Rao said that he would take every zilla panchayat member into confidence to strive to work for the development of the district.