Tamil Nadu

Male relatives take oath while women councillors stand aside in Krishnagiri

The husband of a district panchayat ward councillor takes oath on her behalf in Krishnagiri on Monday.

The husband of a district panchayat ward councillor takes oath on her behalf in Krishnagiri on Monday.   | Photo Credit: N.Bashkaran

50% of seats were reserved for women in local body polls

While the presence of a large number of women candidates in the electoral fray during the panchayat polls was a welcome sight, it was disconcerting to see the spouses of elected women representatives standing in their place and even taking oath on their behalf during the swearing-in ceremony.

This is what happened to some elected district panchayat ward councillors in Krishnagiri.

For instance, newly-elected ward 4 councillor of a district panchayat, M. Anita, stood aside to let her husband take the oath in her place, in the presence of officials.

Of the 23 ward councillors of the district panchayat, 13 were women. In the case of four women councillors, their male relatives took the oath while the elected representatives watched.

The powers of district panchayats are second only to those of the Collector, vis-à-vis the ability to sanction funds for the development of the district. The local body elections, which saw the reservation of 50% of the seats for women, was lauded for being progressive.

The Hindu spoke to the Project Director of the District Rural Development Agency, C. Periasamy — who presided over the oath-taking ceremony of the ward councillors — about the instances of male relatives taking oath on behalf of elected women representatives. “It’s only customary and they are only expected to sign, saying they are aware. Sometimes, they are not literate, or language is a problem,” he said.

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 9:56:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/male-relatives-take-oath-while-women-councillors-stand-aside/article30497950.ece

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