Karnataka

Kagwad candidate lives in Maharashtra

Shrimant Patil

Shrimant Patil  

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The law only mandates that the candidate should be a voter in the State

Shrimant Patil, BJP candidate in Kagwad, is a permanent resident of Sangli in Maharashtra. He runs businesses in that south Maharashtra town.

The leader, who was born in Kempawad village in Kagwad taluk in Karnataka, shifted to Maharashtra for his degree in agriculture sciences. He graduated from the Mahatma Phule College of Agriculture in Rahuri in Maharashtra.

After working for a few years with various companies, he was involved in the management of a sugar factory in Kagwad. He continues to live in Sangli, which is 28 kilometres away from Kagwad. But he retains his name in the voter list in Kagwad in Karnataka.

He is allowed by law to contest polls in Karnataka because he is a voter in Kagwad constituency. The Representation of the People Act, does not ask for someone’s residence in the constituency s/he wishes to represent. It only mandates that s/he should be a voter in the State, for assembly elections. Mr. Patil’s name is listed at serial number 441 of part 88 in the voters’ list in Kagwad.

Issue of security

At a recent meeting of election duty officers of Karnataka and Maharashtra, police officers discussed issues relating to the safety and security of Mr. Patil, whose primary residence is in Sangli. Belagavi police requested Maharashtra police to provide security to Mr. Patil and ensure that his movement is smooth across the border.

“We don’t cross the border to provide security to Karnataka candidates. We request our counterparts in Maharashtra to provide security to any resident of Maharashtra who is fighting polls here. There are enough laws that empower us to do so,’’ said Inspector General of Police (Northern Range) Raghavendra Suhas, told The Hindu.

‘Nothing unusual’

“Several of our leaders have had organic connections with Maharashtra. That is not news around here,” says Ashok Chandargi, convenor of the action committee of Kannada organisations.

“Many our former MLAs like B.Y. Patil, S.K. Sunthankar, Ramesh Kudchi and others have settled in Maharashtra after retirement from public life. Some of them have maintained multiple houses, one in Karnataka and the rest in Maharashtra. They have bought property and invested in businesses in Maharashtra cities. “Several members of local bodies like town municipalities and gram panchayats may be living in Maharashtra. The people don’t find it odd,” he said.

However, Mr. Chandargi feels there should be a law that mandates that a legislator should stay in the constituency he represents. “If the Deputy Commissioner of Belagavi is duty bound to stay in Belagavi, then why should the MLA not be similarly bound? He should be accessible to the people all the time and he should serve the people. The Representation of the People Act should be suitably amended to make residence a compulsory factor for people’s representatives at all levels,’’ he said.

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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 2:04:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/kagwad-candidate-lives-in-maharashtra/article30123037.ece

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