Newly elected gram panchayat members of Arsikere taluk were reportedly made to make a pledge in a temple promising their loyalty to JD(S) MLA K.M. Shivalinge Gowda for the next five years. A video showing the members taking camphor ‘aarti’ at Jenukal Siddeshwara Temple near Arsikere, in the presence of Mr. Shivalinge Gowda, has gone viral in the district.
It is said that all the members, elected with the support of the JD(S), took the pledge assuring their loyalty to the MLA for their current term. The JD(S) leaders organised the programme presuming that the BJP, in power in the State, could lure some members to shift their loyalty once the reservations for the posts of president and vice-presidents of gram panchayats were announced.
The MLA, reacting to the video, told media that there was nothing like taking a pledge. However, he clarified that members had gathered to take the blessings of the deity after winning the elections. “They all held a meeting at the temple and declared that they would remain in the party for next few years and work for the people under my leadership. They also said they would not shift their loyalty even after the reservation for the posts were announced”, he said.
It is said members elected in Dummenahalli and Shyanegere panchayats were present in the meeting held at the temple on Tuesday.