It is not new that spouses of women panchayat functionaries and panchayat union chiefs “handle” official work as extra Constitutional authorities.
The issue hit the headlines when Sankar, who was the AIADMK candidate for the chairman’s post lost the election to ward councilor despite he and his wife being at the helm of affairs in the West Arani PU for the last fifteen years.
Pachaiammal became the chairperson, but was reportedly not allowed to function freely due to being controlled by Sankar, who reportedly had the local BDO office under his control due to his long association with that office when in power.
Reports stated that only for official functions was Pachaiammal allowed to use the official vehicle which was commandeered by Sankar otherwise. When asked, Sankar said that he went along with Pachaiammal for an official function at Kannamangalam where Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami inaugurated an EB sub-station through video conferencing a few days ago. “When returning Pachiammal who lived in Arani EB Nagar got down first and then I continued in the vehicle to get down at the court as the BDO office where the vehicle has its shed is near the court. So there was no question of my commandeering her official vehicle,” he added.
It may be recalled that on many occasions, Kandasamy had called on husbands of the newly elected local body heads to allow their wives to function freely and effectively.