Four village panchayats in the Katpadi panchayat union that were earlier reserved for the women (general) in the local body polls have now been announced only for SC women, who are a minority in the area. The move has triggered a serious debate in these villages.
As the total strength of both the SC and ST in Arumparuthi is only 404 against 2,413 of other castes. The SC/ST population of Vanjur is only 737 against other caste population of 4,062. Similarly, Brammapuram has a total SC/ST population of 2,285 compared to other castes numbering 8,430 and Thandalam Krishanpuram has 665 SC/ST residents compared to 3,035 members of other castes. S Gopinath of Brammapuram said, “It is ridiculous as already the village panchayat was reserved for women (general) and now they have made it for SC women. So, when will men ever become panchayat president in our village?”
On the next course of action, G Nataraj of the same village said, “Only now we are aware of the reservation issue. We will soon meet the Katpadi BDO and ask them the basis on which the reservation was made and submit a letter signed by villagers seeking a review of the decision.”
Explaining the need for reservation, former public prosecutor VV Chandrasekhar said, “There is no connection between the population of a community and the reservation for local body polls. It is a move to ensure empowerment of the downtrodden communities.”
Meanwhile, Pernambut municipality residents have moved Madras High Court seeking an order to undertake a delimitation exercise for the local body alone. The petition filed by C Hameed states that the improper delimitation exercise carried out in the 21 wards has resulted in 11 wards getting affected.