Opposition stages walkout

Government afraid of losing zilla panchayat elections, say elders

Staff Reporter

BANGALORE: The Opposition members belonging to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Janata Dal (United) on Tuesday staged a walkout from the Legislative Council protesting against the appointment of administrators to the zilla and taluk panchayats without extending their term till the elections are held.

The Leader of Opposition, D.H. Shankaramurthy, who led the walkout, alleged that the ruling coalition, already suffering from internecine war between the partners, is afraid of losing the panchayat elections.

Mr. Shankaramurthy said the appointment of administrators was an undemocratic act. He wanted to know why the Government did not promulgate an Ordinance or introduce a Bill on the issue.

Basavaraj Bommai (JD-U) alleged that the Government has denied constitutional right to the people. He alleged that the Government has failed in convincing the court about its good intentions and earnestness in holding elections.

Resignation demanded

M.P. Nadagouda (JD-U) demanded the resignation of the Rural Development and Panchayatraj Minister, H.C. Mahadevappa, owning moral responsibility for not holding elections.

"If the Government thinks that there is no need for an elected panchayat bodies, the argument holds good for the State Government, which is plagued by infighting and it is a fit case for President's rule," Dr. Nadagouda said.

V.S. Ugrappa (Congress) and Arun Machaiah (Independent) opposed the appointment of administrators to the panchayatraj bodies.

Dr. Mahadevappa said the Government will hold elections after issuing necessary notifications.

Mr. Shankaramurthy said the people have seen how sincere the Government is when it failed to appoint presidents and vice-presidents to 37 urban local bodies for over one year.

The courts have indicted the Government in the case of admission, the Cauvery water issue and the Mysore-Bangalore Expressway corridor. Immediately, members of the BJP and the JD (U) staged a walkout.

The Industries Minister, P.G.R. Sindhia, asked why the BJP had not bothered to hold elections to the panchayatraj institutions in States ruled by it, including Gujarat.

The Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition need not learn lessons from the BJP, he added.

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