Sarpanch post in Andhra auctioned for Rs 4.15 lakh

Move aimed to reduce election expenditure; money to be used for development of village

By M Suchitra
Published: Monday 03 June 2013

In a bizzare incident, residents of Basavapur village, Karimnagar district, Andhra Pradesh, appointed a new sarpanch, or head of the gram panchayat, by holding an auction. Ponnam Ravi Goud who bid the highest amount of Rs 4.15 lakh, bagged the post. The villagers also elected the deputy sarpanch and ward members.

This unusual incident has occurred a few days ahead of Andhra Pradesh Election Commission’s expected announcement of notification of polls to local bodies. Election to local bodies in the state have been pending for the past two years.

The auction was held in the office of the gram panchayat in the presence of hundreds of voters of the village. There were three contestants for the post of sarpanch, and Goud bid the highest price. Only the newly appointed sarpanch, deputy sarpanch and eight ward members will file their nominations once the election is notified.

The logic behind the auction was simply that it would reduce election expenditure. Instead of all contesting candidates spending huge amounts on the election, the villagers felt it was far better for a single person to spend money.

The newly appointed sarpanch, Goud, said the money will be spent for the development of the village.

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