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Some members have reportedly threatened to resign if they are not removed from their posts
Only five months remain for the end of the zilla panchayat's term
SHIMOGA: The crisis in the Bharatiya Janata Party-led zilla panchayat appears to have blown over with president H.C. Basavarajappa reportedly deciding against resigning from his post, in deference to the suggestion of party leaders.
With this, what could have been an embarrassment for Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa when he arrives here on Saturday, has been avoided.
It may be recalled that during the meeting of the zilla panchayat here on July 7, Mr. Basavarajappa and vice-president Rama Naik were put in an unenviable position when they were targeted by the Opposition but their party members did not come to their rescue.
Adding fuel to the controversy was the message faxed to the Chief Minister and State BJP president K.S. Eshwarappa by the non-Congress members who joined the BJP on the eve of the Parliamentary elections last year. In their communication, they demanded that both Mr. Basavarajappa and Mr. Naik be asked to step down after completing their ten-month term.
The strength of the BJP in the 31-member zilla panchayat, which was seven in the first 20-month phase of the panchayat, rose to 16 when nine members from the Congress and the Samajwadi Party joined it as part of “Operation Kamala”. This enabled the party to come to power.
Mr. Basavarajappa, who left the Congress to join the BJP, and Mr. Naik were made president and vice-president respectively for a period of 10 months.
This was so that others could occupy these coveted posts for the following five months, before the five-year term of the zilla panchayat ended.
However, trouble started when Mr. Basavarajappa and Mr. Naik did not vacate their posts after 10 months.
Neither did the party leaders press for it, in view of the gram panchayat elections.
The dissatisfied aspirants for the posts reportedly threatened their non-cooperation if the two were not asked to step down.
They likened the situation to the “breach” of trust shown by the former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, who failed to lend his support to Mr. Yeddyurappa to lead the Government for 20 months.
Some of the “new entrants” to the BJP have reportedly threatened to resign if Mr. Basavarajappa and Mr. Naik are not asked to step down.
The president and vice-president offered to resign on Friday.
However, they reportedly went back on their decision, following suggestions of the party leaders.
The leaders seem to have based their decision on that it would not be advisable to hold fresh elections to the key posts just five months before the term of the present elected body comes to an end.
When asked for his reaction to this development, Shimoga MP B.Y. Raghavendra told newspersons here on Friday that he would abide by the decision taken by party leaders on the issue.
It would take at least one month to complete the procedure for holding fresh elections, leaving only four months for the completion of the five-year term of the zilla panchayat, he said.
He was confident that the party leaders would resolve the issue amicably, Mr. Raghavendra added.
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