Villagers protest against induction of a losing candidate

Police trying to placate protesters in Kumalangulam panchayat, Cuddalore, on Monday.

Police trying to placate protesters in Kumalangulam panchayat, Cuddalore, on Monday.   | Photo Credit: THE HINDU

Block Development Officer postpones swearing-in ceremony

The swearing-in ceremony of the president and ward members of Kumalangulam panchayat was postponed on Monday after a large number of residents, especially women, laid siege to the panchayat office to mark their protest against the induction of the losing candidate Vijayalakshmi who was elected following a mix-up on January 2.

Independent candidates, Jayalakshmi Rajabaskaran and Vijayalakshmi contested in the recently concluded rural local body elections. Of the 4,139 votes in the ward, 2,860 were polled.

Ms. Jayalakshmi bagged 1,710 votes while her opponent got the remaining. However, Returning Officer Subramanian allegedly declared Ms. Vijayalakshmi as the winner due to a mix-up with the names and handed over the certificate to her.

While arrangements were under way at the panchayat office, a large number of residents carrying pamphlets laid siege to the office extending solidarity to Ms. Jayalakshmi. D. Kalaivanan, a resident said a majority of the people in 10 villages in the panchayat had overwhelmingly voted in favour of Ms. Jayalakshmi and would never allow the losing candidate to be sworn in.

On information, police and revenue officials rushed to the spot and tried to pacify the villagers, who refused to budge. Meanwhile, the Block Development Officer Subramanian announced that the swearing-in ceremony would be postponed due to the prevailing Law and Order situation in the panchayat.

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Printable version | Jul 4, 2020 12:24:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/villagers-protest-against-induction-of-a-losing-candidate/article30498129.ece

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