Nayeema Sultan of the Janata Dal (Secular) became the Zilla Panchayat president in the elections that were held on Saturday. Her close competitor for the President’s post, Parimala Shyam withdrew from the race. G Nataraj has been elected as the Vice President.
With the election, the JD(S) and the BJP have successfully managed to wrest power from the Congress in Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s hometown.
Nayeema Sultan and G Nataraj received 27 votes in the 49-member assembly. The Congress, with 22 seats was falling short of three members to reach the magic figure of 25. The JD(S) that had 18 members and the BJP that had 8 members came together with an independent candidate to bag power. The BJP and JD(S) combine itself had 26 members and with the support of the independent candidate, the combine managed to secure 27 votes.
All the 49 Zilla Panchayat members were present at the Abdul Nazeer Saab Hall for the elections. Jayamma Shivaswamy of the Congress received 22 votes.
The entire process from filing the nomination papers at 9:30 am, scrutiny of papers till 11 am and the voting at 1 pm was conducted under the supervision of Regional Commissioner A M Kunjappa who is also the Returning Officer, and Zilla Panchayat CEO P A Gopal.
In all, five candidates filed nominations for the ZP President and Vice President’s posts. From the JD(S) that has an alliance with BJP, B C Parimala Shyam who has been elected from Antharasanthe in Heggadadevanakote filed her nomination papers for President. Along with her, Nayeema Sultan who has been elected from Annur in Heggadadevanakote village also threw her hat in the ring.
From the Congress party, Jayamma Shivaswamy who has been elected from Gargeshwari ZP seat in T Narasipur filed her nominations for the President’s post. The post of ZP President has been reserved for OBC-A woman and the post of Vice President has been set aside for a candidate from the general category.
The BJP, that has no OBC-A woman as per the reservation list, had to be satisfied with the Vice President’s post. G Nataraj who has been elected from Mugooru seat filed his nominations. From Congress, S Krishna from Hampapura has filed papers.
PRESTIGIOUS FOR CONGRESS
The election is a prestigious one for Congress as it is Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s home town. With the prior-election understanding, the JD(S) and the BJP successfully managed to keep Congress out of power. Though the Congress Party, through its District President Dr B J Vijaykumar, issued whips to all members to cast vote in favour of the Congress candidate, its strategy failed miserably with JD(S) and BJP joining hands.
Before the filing of nominations, those elected from BJP met at Rajendra Kalamandir on the Ramanuja Road to discuss their strategy, Congress candidates met at Jalapuri quarters and JD(S) candidates met at Hotel Guru Residency on the Vinobha Road.
Trouble broke out for JD(S) soon after Parimala Shyam and Nayeema Sultan filed their nominations. Parimala was upset with her party leaders for permitting Nayeema Sultan to file the nominations though she was assured on Friday evening that she (Parimala) would be the presidential candidate.
While Parimala is Heggadadevanakote MLA S Chikkamadu’s candidate, Nayeema Sultan is K R Nagar MLA Sa Ra Mahesh’s candidate.
As Parimala openly expressed her dissatisfaction, party leaders including Sa Ra Mahesh, MLA G T Devegowda went into a huddle and worked out a compromise formula where it was first decided that Parimala Shyam will first be the ZP President for two years and Nayeema Sultan for three years. This compromise formula was conveyed to the media by Sa Ra Mahesh.
Later, Parimala withdrew her nominations paving way for Nayeema to become the ZP President. According to party sources, Nayeema will hold power for the first two years and Parimala Shyam will be the ZP President for three years. The total term is five years.