December 23, 2015 7:47:37 pm
A day after election to the post of president and vice president of Devbhoomi Dwarka district panchayat was postponed for a day following commotion, Congress and BJP won one post each as the voting ended in a tie on Wednesday.
Congress and BJP had won 11 seats in the election to district panchayat held in November. The newly-elected board of panchayat had met for the first time on Tuesday to elect president and vice president for the body. Congress had fielded Mittal Goriya and Jetuben Songara for the presidential election. The BJP had nominated Rekha Goriya. In the voting held by raising of hands, Mittal and Rekha got 11 votes each. Songara did not get any vote.
District collector HK Patel, who was presiding over the election, had then ordered to conduct a draw of lots to decide the winner. But the BJP had raised objection over Congress fielding two candidates for one post. As the BJP created a din and sought fresh election, Patel had adjourned the proceedings for a day.
After the board members met again on Wednesday afternoon, collector informed them that there was no rule prohibiting candidature of more than one candidate from the same political party. BJP members relented and the collector ordered draw of lots. In the lottery, Mittal’s name was picked and thus Congress won the post of president.
District development officer (DDO) of Dwarka, Mukesh Pandya said that Songara’s name was not part of lots as she had not got any votes and therefore she was out of contention.
A similar situation arose again in the election to the post of vice-president as Pratapsinh Jadeja of Congress and Geeta Vadher of the BJP got 11 votes each. In the subsequent draw of lots, Vadher emerged victorious.
After the collector adjourned the meeting on Tuesday, Congress members had elected a protem presiding officer and conducted the election. They had elected Mittal and Jadeja as president and vice-president respectively and submitted minutes of the meeting to the DDO. Jadeja had announced that the newly-elected office-bearers would assume take charge on Wednesday.
But that election was held void on Wednesday by the collector. “Election for the twin post can be presided over by district collector only. Therefore, the election held by Congress members under supervision of a presiding officer elected by them was illegal,” said Pandya.
Mittal is the wife of Jitendra Goriya, a distant nephew to Congress MLA from Khambhaliya, Meraman Goriya. A homemaker, Mittal had debuted in electoral politics by contesting the November 22 poll to the panchayat. On the other hand, Vadher is the wife of BJP leader Badursinh who has served as president of Khambhaliya taluka panchayat in the past.
With the top two posts divided between the two parties, election of members of executive committee of the panchayat will also be important as that will decide who will have effective control over the body.
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