Special Correspondent

Seeks all-party meet soon after local body polls

  • Panchayat president posts auctioned in 49 villages in the State: CPI(M) State Secretary
  • Calls for decentralisation of powers and adequate funds for local bodies
  • Exemption of local bodies from remitting power bills and disbursal of salary to panchayat staff sought
  • Vietnam model of involving community to eliminate mosquito larvae mooted to check dengue, chikungunya

    CHENNAI: Expressing grave concern over reports of auctioning of the post of panchayat presidents in several villages, the Tamil Nadu unit of the Communist Party of India (CPI) on Monday urged the Government to convene an all-party meeting immediately after the local body elections to arrest such "a harmful trend."

    Releasing the CPI manifesto for the local body elections, State secretary of the party D. Pandian said the panchayat president posts had been auctioned in 49 villages spread over the State and in one of the villages in Madurai district, the post had been earmarked to a person who had allegedly offered Rs.19 lakh.

    In some village panchayats, which were reserved for the Dalits or women, elections had become a non-starter as nobody came forward to file nominations, he said.

    Mr. Pandian said the Government should call an all-party meeting besides seeking the views of experts to introduce necessary amendments to law, close on the heels of the poll, to check defections and bribing the electors.

    Calling for decentralisation of powers and adequate funds for local bodies, the party demanded that the powers of the Government to keep in abeyance resolutions adopted by the village panchayats for plan development be revoked.