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Shettar terms ‘pre-general body meeting' illegal

Special Correspondent



Jagadish Shettar

GULBARGA: Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Jagadish Shettar on Wednesday termed the decision of the Gulbarga Zilla Panchayat to hold a “pre-general body meeting” each time an official general body meeting is to take place, as illegal. He added that the State Government would not permit holding such an unofficial meeting.

Reacting sharply to the decision taken at a meeting chaired by the Gulbarga ZP president Shivaprabhu Patil on Monday in which the husbands of the women members of the ZP were present, Mr. Shettar told The Hindu over telephone, that there was no provision in the Karnataka Panchayat Raj Act for holding such a meeting.

Mr. Shettar said he had told Mr. Patil, who had met him in Bangalore on Wednesday, not to hold any such illegal meeting. He firmly told him to adhere to the law and not to cave in to the demands of the non-members of the ZP.

Asking officials of different departments to participate in the meeting also caused a lot of heartburn.

‘Humiliated'

“This is blatantly an illegal decision. The State Government should protect officials from the humiliation of attending such a meeting and answering the queries of non-elected members,” said a senior official. He said at the meeting chaired by the ZP president on Monday, officials were grilled by the husbands of the women members and were forced to give replies to all queries by the president himself. “The Deputy Director of the Land Army was humiliated by the husbands and unsubstantiated charges were levelled against him. He was forced to stand for more than 45 minutes listening to them and he was not given a chance to reply,” said another official who participated in the Monday meeting.

‘No support'

The officials said that the Chief Executive Officer of the ZP should have protected the officials. “Unfortunately, neither the CEO nor the council secretary raised their voices against the intervention of the non-membersin the discharge of duties by the officials.”

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