While the State Election Commission officials have been readying themselves for the fair conduct of local body elections and the political parties have been charting out their strategies to face the polls, there were reports about auctioning of various posts, including the panchayat presidents and the ward members across the central regions.
Though the local body elections were scheduled in Tamil Nadu in two phases, the latest trend on instant result by ‘purchasing’ of posts shocked the police parties as well as the social activists. Since the information has been going viral among the netizens, the State Election Commission has reportedly asked each district administration to have an eye on the rural areas where such activities are allegedly happening.
It is said that Thirumangalakottai panchayat president post has been reportedly ‘sold’ at Rs 35 lakh while several panchayats in Thanjavur, Tiruchy and Pudukkottai districts, the village heads have been keenly watching whether the seats are allotted to the previous presidents. If there is a chance for the new faces, they have been planning for an ‘auction’ for the post.
Meanwhile, the auctions are reportedly held in the reserved panchayats also. In Pattukkottai, a particular village panchayat president’s post which is reserved one has been ‘sold’ at Rs 25 lakh.
According to a social activist, more than 50 village panchayats across the region were ‘auctioned’ in the earlier polls. “However, several such panchayats have been changed from general to reserved category and so the ‘auction’ may not be possible this time. Still, the vice presidents’ posts are reportedly ‘sold’ at Rs 20 lakh to Rs 50 lakh. Who will receive the money? Where will the money be spent?” remains unanswerable,” opined a social activist from Perambalur from where one panchayat president’s post has been ‘sold’ at Rs 23.50 lakh through an open bid.