MANGALURU: MLC Ivan D’Souza has urged the Karnataka government to sack Dakshina Kannada zilla panchayat president Meenakshi Shanthigodu and deputy Kasturi Panja over what he termed was the undemocratic dismissal of the elected body of Haleyangadi gram panchayat .
The zilla panchayat at its general meeting on Monday had adopted a resolution seeking the superseding of the gram panchayat over what ruling BJP members maintained was gross dereliction of charter of duties entrusted to the panchayat raj body.
Condemning the zilla panchayat’s resolution, Ivan said he will raise the issue in the legislative council and also seek opinion to fight the issue legally.
“It is a rarest of rare political development where the elected body of a gram panchayat has been dissolved even without giving its members an opportunity to clarify. There is no provision under the Zilla Panchayat Act for its members to dissolve the elected body of a gram panchayat directly. The Section 268(3) of the act seeks suitable reason and the elected body of respective gram panchayat should be given time to clarify. Later, a resolution to dissolve the elected body of the gram panchayat should be published in the state gazette. However, the zilla panchayat has adopted a resolution bypassing all the procedures and it is a serious lapse,” Ivan said.
Countering the allegations that Haleyangadi gram panchayat has not conducted meetings regularly, Ivan said the Lok Sabha election was declared on March 12, and till May 23 they were not able to conduct meetings. Later, there was no panchayat development officer (PDO) to convene the meetings in June and July. The government should also take action against the PDO, Ivan demanded.