Tamil Nadu

‘Auction’ of panchayat posts: more allegations emerge in Tiruchi district

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‘President, V-P posts sold for ₹10 lakh and ₹2.75 lakh’

Allegations of the auctioning of the posts of president and vice-president in Valaiyur village panchayat and ward councillor in Mannachanallur panchayat union have surfaced in Tiruchi district, prompting the district administration to conduct an inquiry.

According to sources, a group of villagers held a meeting on Thursday night to discuss the local body elections. Stressing the importance of unity in the Mutharaiyar-dominated village, a few residents reportedly proposed three names as unanimous choices for the posts of president, vice-president and panchayat union ward member.

According to a petition submitted to the Block Development Officer of Mannachanallur by a group of people from Valaiyur, the posts of president and vice-president were auctioned to persons going by the names of Rengaraj and Anand, for ₹10 lakh and ₹2.75 lakh, respectively. Similarly, the villagers were asked to support the candidature of Murugan, the husband of M. Parameswari — the AIADMK MLA from Mannachanallur Assembly constituency — for the Mannachanallur panchayat union ward member’s post, in exchange for the payment of ₹15 lakh towards the development of Valaiyur. However, Ms. Parameswari denied the allegation, saying her husband had sought a ticket from the party, and no decision had been taken on that yet.

Meanwhile, acting on a direction from Collector S. Sivarasu, officials of the Rural Development department conducted enquiries. But a majority of the 25 persons with whom the officials held enquiries reportedly said the complaint was ‘motivated’.

Mr. Sivarasu told The Hindu that a group of persons apparently held a meeting and attempted to influence the villagers into supporting certain candidates. But the posts in question were not auctioned.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 8:18:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/auction-of-panchayat-posts-more-allegations-emerge-in-tiruchi-district/article30308327.ece

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