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TN state election commission directs district collectors to take strict action on ‘auction’ of president post

- September 22, 2021

Chennai, Sept 22 (BPNS)

The  Tamil Nadu state election commission has given a directive to the district collectors of the nine districts where rural local body elections are to be held to take stringent action on the possibilities of “auction” of president post.

Auctioning of posts of village panchayath presidents and panchayath union ward councilors has been reported in the state in the past couple of days. The rural local body polls are to take place in nine districts of Tamil Nadu on October 6 and October 9 and in certain villages of these districts there has been a move to have ‘consensus’ candidates and local people had reported and complained that money was changing hands.

Village elders had actively participated in the ‘auctioning’ for the post of president at Ulagalapadi village panchayath in Sankarapuram panchayath union in Kallakurichi district. This was also witnessed in Ponnankuppam village panchayath in Gingee panchayath union of Villupuram district.

Two councilor posts were also subject to ‘auction’ in two panchayath union wards in Melamalaiyanur in Villupuram district.

Political parties cutting across ideological and political barriers have opposed the practice and called upon the SEC and the respective district administrations to take stern action.

DMK leader R.S. Bharathi said that this has to be curtailed and that if noticed district administrators should take stern action against those abetting moves to subvert the democratic process.

BJP leader H. Raja said that strong action must be taken by the State Election Commission and to bring an end to such moves of auctioning of panchayath president post.

G. Palanithurai, academician and retired Professor, Gandhirgram Rural University, while speaking to BPNS said, “ If someone is getting elected through consensus there should be fixed criteria and it should be based on morals and ethics and not money. The Election commission has enormous powers and they should act as people are complaining from villages themselves. No one should be allowed to subvert the democratic process.”