Panchayat polls: Bareilly BDC member under scanner for winning seat reserved for women

While government officials questioned the timing of the complaint against Khyali Singh as the panchayat election results were declared over a month ago, complainant Krishna Avtar, a farmer, claimed he took the time to verify the anomaly.

The Bareilly district administration has ordered an inquiry into a complaint that a 45-year-old man Block Development Committee (BDC) member in Nawabganj won the election from a seat reserved for women.

While government officials questioned the timing of the complaint against Khyali Singh as the panchayat election results were declared over a month ago, complainant Krishna Avtar, a farmer, claimed he took the time to verify the anomaly.

District Magistrate Nitish Kumar said action would be taken based on the inquiry’s findings. Avtar also demanded action against officials involved in the election process for that seat. “I asked to conduct a re-polling for the same seat,” he added.

The complainant told The Indian Express, “Recently, I came to know that Khyali Singh had wrongly contested the election of BDC member from Ward No. 16 of Gajraula village in Nawabganj block. I started collecting information and came to know that Singh and six women contested from the same seat. I checked the government records and found the seat was reserved for women.”

He said there was a delay in filing the complaint as verifying all the details took him time. Avtar added, “I filed a complaint to the Bareilly District Magistrate and election commission, seeking action against government officials involved in the election procedure as they ignored the fact that the seat was reserved for female candidates. I also requested them to also check if the wrongdoing was a deliberate act to elect Singh.”

Singh said he would have got his wife to contest from the seat had he known it was reserved for women. “I contested the election thinking it was a general seat. No one raised the matter even after I got my winning certificate. Now, a month after the election result was declared, some people started raising the issue. I checked with people and found that the seat was reserved for women. Had I known this earlier, I would have asked my wife to contest the election.”

He added, “I have no knowledge of any inquiry going on because no one came to record my statement. This is a mistake, and not done deliberately.”

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