Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Upper castes protest Dalit empowerment

The people of Pappapatti, Keeripatti and Nattarmangalam panchayats in Madurai district and Kottakatchiyendal panchayat in Virudhunagar district are again boycotting the election by not filing nominations to the panchayat president and ward member posts. This was in protest against the Government's decision to reserve these panchayats for Dalits.

Ever since the last local body elections, these panchayats are going without elected nominees. Every time when by-elections are scheduled in these panchayats, either there has been no nomination or those who filed papers have been forced to withdraw.

Last year when some Dalit outfits put up their candidate for the president post in the Papapatti panchayat, local caste Hindus fielded their Dalit nominee who won the election. But immediately, the president resigned.

Source: Sun News, September 22, 2004

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