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Shifting of hostel rocks ZP meeting

By Our Staff Correspondent

MADIKERI, NOV. 30. The Kodagu Zilla Panchayat meeting here on Tuesday witnessed some drama when all members, cutting across party lines, demanded that the Deputy Secretary of the panchayat, Mahadevaiah, should go on leave in connection with the issue of shifting the BCM Hostel from Kushalnagar to Gummanakolli recently.

V.P. Shashidhar (Janata Dal-Secular) alleged that the official had unilaterally decided to shift the hostel to a rented premise at Gummanakolli. He had not taken the permission of the Standing Committee on Social Justice, he said.

V.K. Devalingaiah, Standing Committee chairman, said he was kept in the dark on the issue. The relevant files confirmed that Mr. Mahadevaiah asked the officer concerned, over telephone, to shift the hostel to a rented accommodation in August.

Mr. Shashidhar sought an explanation from the official alleging that the official had misused powers. Mr. Devalingaiah supported him.

All the other members said they did not want the official to work in the district for showing disdain to the House.

The official should either go on leave or "leave the district", they said.

Suju Thimmaiah, chairman of the Standing Committee on Health and Education, alleged that there were several instances to prove misuse of powers by Mr. Mahadevaiah.

At this, Mr. Mahadevaiah asked the members to prove the charges levelled against him.

Enraged at this, all members went into the well of the House demanding the president, Chitra Ramesh, and the Chief Executive Officer of the panchayat, P.L. Budihal, to initiate action against the recalcitrant official.

Mr. Budihal said he could not initiate action against a senior official all of a sudden nor ask him to go on leave. Former panchayat president Veena Achaiah and others were seen asking the president to ask Mr. Mahadevaiah to go out of the meeting hall. Otherwise, they threatened to stage a walk out.

When Ms. Ramesh asked him to leave, Mr. Mahadevaiah asked her to give it in writing. He alleged that the elected members were "harassing" him because he was a dalit officer.

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