Karnataka BJP leader Tejasvi Surya on Friday trashed reports of BJP backing the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) candidate for the presidency of gram panchayat in the southern state. Surya claimed the reports as ‘fake news’ and said that ‘Panchayats don’t take place on party lines’.
T. Ismail, who secured his position with the support of the SDPI, has been chosen as the president of the Talapady gram panchayat in the Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka. Notably, reports claimed that he garnered backing from members affiliated with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
At the outset, the election for the president’s position witnessed an equal number of votes for Satyaraj, endorsed by the BJP, and T Ismail, supported by the SDPI. Despite the BJP’s anticipation of a seamless triumph for their candidate Satyaraj, the outcome proved to be an embarrassment for the party. This was due to the fact that two of their members cast their votes in favor of Ismail, reports said.
Vaibhav Shetty, supported by the Congress, along with one of the members backed by the SDPI, Habiba, were notably absent during the polling process.
Consequently, the returning officer, Shwetha, who also serves as the child development project officer, opted to resort to a drawing of lots to determine the presidency. Through this procedure, Ismail emerged as the president, and this event occurred in the presence of Keshava, the panchayat development officer.
Surya, hitting out at the reports, advised media to verify facts before publishing such news.
“This is fake news. Elections to Panchayats don’t take place on party lines. BJP has not supported SDPI or any other party in these elections. Media is advised to verify facts before publishing such news,” Surya wrote in his post on X, formerly known as Twitter.
BJP’s social media in-charge Amit Malviya as well dismissed the reports saying there are “no party symbols in Panchayat”.
“This is #FakeNews. To start with, there are no party symbols in Panchayat in Karnataka. So how can there be any alliance? Besides there is no question of supporting the SDPI. Period.,” Malviya wrote.
The Social Democratic Party of India, commonly referred to as SDPI, is an Indian political party established on June 21, 2009, in New Delhi. It is recognized as the political extension of the prohibited Islamic entity, Popular Front of India (PFI).