Udupi: Ranjani Hegde elected as the President of Belle Grama Panchayat

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By Eugene DSouza, Moodubelle
Pics by Anil Alva
Bellevision Media Network

Udupi, 30 Jun 2015: As speculated in advance, Mrs. Ranjani Hegde who had joined the Congress Party on Sunday, 28 June 2015 was elected as the President of the Belle Grama Panchayat in the election that was held on Tuesday, 30 June 2015.


There was hectic activity in the Panchayat office as two candidates for the presidentship, Mrs. Ranjani Hegde, recently joined Congress member  and Mrs. Lydia Fernandes from BJP   and two candidates for vice presidentship-Harsh Shetty from Congress and Sudhakar Poojary from BJP submitted their nomination forms  to the election office, Mr. Udayakumar-Assistant Engineer PWD, Udupi at 11 am.


As all the nomination papers were found to be in order  none of the candidates withdrew their nomination, election was  held  at 3 pm. Counting followed soon after and by 4 pm election results were announced  by the election officer and Mrs. Ranjani Hegde and Harish Shetty of the Congress were declared to be elected as President and Vice President respectively with 10 votes each. The unsuccessful candidates-Mrs. Lydia Fernandes and Sudhakar Poojary of the BJP polled eight votes each.



Following the Grama Panchayat elections held in late May 2015, both the Congress supported and BJP supported candidates had secured 9 seats each in the panchayat body of 18 members. The equal number of seats had led to a lot of speculation and possibility of ‘horse trading’. As the presidentship of the panchayat was reserved for the women candidates belonging to the general category,  both the parties had kept their fingers crossed as both the groups had equal number of members. Under these circumstances, the equal number of votes would have led to the selection  of the president and vice president  by lots where luck would have played a great part.


In order to avoid such a situation both the groups were trying to woo members from the rival parties. Eventually, the Congress party succeeded in getting Mrs. Ranjani Hegde  to their side with the promise of making her their presidential candidate. The deal was sealed on Sunday, 28 June 2015 when Mrs. Ranjani Hegde was officially inducted into the Congress party in the Congress office Rajiv Bhavan at Kaup in the presence of Vinaykumar Sorake, Minister in charge of Udupi District and a number of Congress leaders including Mrs. Ida Gibba D’Souza and other members.


With Mrs. Ranjani Hegde officially joining the Congress party, the equation in the Belle Grama Panchayat changed with the strength of the Congress going up to 10 and the number of BJP members reducing to 8, thus having a clear edge for the Congress. Still there was suspicion and anxiety as anything could happen in ‘political game’.


The strategy of the Congress worked and Mrs. Ranjani Hegde got elected to the coveted post of president of the Belle Grama Panchayat where as Harish Shetty was elected as the vice president.


Mrs. Ranjani Hegde who was elected as the member of the Belle Grama Panchayat for the second time with the support of the BJP  was the Joint Secretary of the Udupi District  Women’s Forum.



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Comments on this Article
Vincent Martis, Moodubellle Thu, July-2-2015, 12:18
Congratulations Ms.Ranjani Hegde and Mr.Harish Shetty. Hope you will do good job for the betterment of Moodubelle Please make some easy excess for Ration card some poor people living in rented property don t have ration card God will bless you guys, Poor people come for their papers they have to wait whole day long or postponing the date Please Mrs Rajani in summer some people have no water for drink why cant give permission for everybody at list they can have water by their own bore wells in their own land instead of begging for others waters and it is also cheaper than the well. Please make one rule for everybody. Thanks.
Sudarshan N., Moodubelle Thu, July-2-2015, 8:10
For power and money, everyone is ready to be sold today. After all politics is business
Raviraj Thimmappa Shetty, Moodubelle/Mumbai Wed, July-1-2015, 8:20
Congratulations Ms.Ranjani Hegde and Mr.Harish Shetty. Hope you will do good job for the betterment of Moodubelle. Beware of future horse trading.
Ronald Casmir DSouza, Dubai Wed, July-1-2015, 6:56

I congratulate the President Ranjani Hegde, Vice president Harish Shetty. Ranjani is my classmate Santosh’s Sister. We all know them from 1980s. Then why suddenly religion and cast poison is sawed by BJP Supporting Wilson Udupi?. Because of congress party people live happily and prospering, nit by fighting each other. If you really a peace loving person you would not have written a comment like that, but it looks you want to spoil the peace of Belle, so you wrote your comment with bad intention. 

Please do not try that, because in Belle people peace will not be spoiled, but God punishes the person who tries to spoil the peace. I really overwhelmed by knowing the leadership work of Vincent Fernandes. Because of his honest politics BJP leaders got their face off. Also he has helped understand all the old congress leaders to leave their old misunderstandings and taking congress forward.

Valerian Fernandes, Abu Dhabi Wed, July-1-2015, 4:21
Congratulations to Mrs. Ranjani Hegde and Mr. Harish Shetty. Kindly continue the development and work hard towards betterment of Belle Grama Panchayath. Dear Wilson, Udupi, there is no religion in politics. The candidates are chosen by all the Congress candidates irrespective of their religion. Kindly do not spread poison among the Belle people. I am sure you are BJP supporter and BJP is very good in religion/cast politics. Kindly wait for another 5 years for your term. Moreover you are from Udupi, dont worry about Belle people. Congratulations to all elected candidates of Belle grama Panchayath, please cooperate with the President and deliver the promises you have made during your election campaign. Vincy appreciate you role in uniting the old and new leaders. All the very best to you all
Roshan DSouza, Moodubelle/Dubai Wed, July-1-2015, 9:29
Congratulations to Mrs. Ranjani Hegde and Mr. Harish Shetty on being elected as president and vice-president of belle grama panchayath. Please continue the good work carried out by the previous team. There are many roads have been constructed in belle panchayath limits. But unfortunately poor surface water drainage. During the rainy season water is flowing on roads and this is causing lot of inconvienence to the people especially the school going children. Also public is finding difficult to park their vehicles in pete. Also road side space occupied by autos and taxis. This has to be sorted out on priority. The junctions in front of church and the school road near the bus stop to be improved on urgent basis before any major accident/disaster happens. Please ease and streamline the procedure at panchayath and VA office to save lot of time of the villagers. Please keep a check on demanding extra money by the officers at these offices. Also request for additional staff for belle panchayath as this panchayath is too big .Present staff is not sufficient to fullfill citizens demands. Finally leave all differences and work towards betterment of Belle village thus make it a model panchayat
Philip Mudartha, Navi Mumbai Wed, July-1-2015, 8:36
So the Congress as ruling party in Karnataka managed their version of the infamous 2008 operation lotus (let us call it in jest as operation under hand) in Belle GP with the allurement of presidential kursi to the defector. Politically and legally, defection of a GP ward representative cannot be questioned; however, it is an act morally and ethically wrong, a fraud committed on the voters of the ward, unless their consent is sought for the act. Whether the defected person is highly qualified to be GP president, has a college degree, capable or has a clean and honest image are secondary to the accountability to the voters in a democracy. Karnataka Panchayat Raj Act does not include Anti Defection Clauses unlike hat in Kerala because the elections should be on non-party basis. But since in reality, since all winners are active party members either of BJP or Congress, Karnataka State must consider an amendment to include anti-defection clauses.
HEMPHIL DUBAI, UDUPI Wed, July-1-2015, 3:55


Vinnu, Moodubelle, Qatar. Wed, July-1-2015, 2:00
Congrats both of you. Please try to be as original as you went home to home for asking vote andd mainly now ur fist work make an unity of gulf benificials home and make an satyagrha for Modhi for the New rule of if a NRE sending money from out of country to India it will deduct 127.00RS FOR 1000.00RS. PLEASE TAKE CARE.
Valerian Lobo, Moodubellle Tue, June-30-2015, 9:18
Congratulation to Mrs Ranjani Hegde and Mr Harish Shetty.Good thing she is a graduate very active person in sports too I have some suggestion like we are in Democratic country we have right freedom of speak If we have any opinion regarding Panchayat issues can we give our opinion through B/V or Facebook We know all the issues cannot be sort it out at list we can try some extent like over taxing, road issues Bore well, Ration card, Adhar card etc Please take your own decision please ignore those senior members whatever they think right it cannot be I wish you can give a statement because your are graduate We wish you all the Best
Rajesh, Moodubelle Tue, June-30-2015, 8:44
Congratulations to Mrs. Ranjani Hegde and Mr. Harish Shetty. Do the good work, Are you going to reduce the house tax? Be careful there is a malyali(Gulf Return) in your team,
Wilson, Udupi Tue, June-30-2015, 8:41

Congratulations to Ranjani Hegde and Harish shetty for winning the president and vice president post. Now the time to ask questions to congress . Congress is so called secular party. When there is more than 50% of the voters are Christian s why you not given a chance to Christian candidate? There is  Helen Dsouza who is a capable leader for president post or there was AG DSouza for vice president post. Why you given both post for same community? If you see in another angle you not only cheated congress supporters and the members who won from congress tag who belive in secularism . As I am a congress supporter feel sorry for AG DSOUZA who work hard for the party day and night.

Baptist Sequeira, Moodubelle Tue, June-30-2015, 7:22
Very good move by the team. and Ranjani Hegde can be a best president who has a honest image than the other BJP leaders of Belle!!!!. I appreciate the effort of Vincent Fernandes and all other team members who worked hard on this matter.
Ratnakar M., Kattingeri Tue, June-30-2015, 6:43
Congratulations to Mrs. Ranjani Hegde and Mr. Harish Shetty. Beat all odds and work towards betterment of Belle.
Loelo Boliye, Moodubelle Tue, June-30-2015, 6:35
Congratulations to Mrs. Ranjani Hegde and Mr. Harish Shetty. Do the good work , for which people of Moodubelle have elected You.
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