Ground Report | New Delhi: Bhatauli Village in MP; In a village in Madhya Pradesh, the post of Sarpanch or village head was assigned to the highest bidder. A man from the Bhatauli gram panchayat from Madhya Pradesh’s Ashok Nagar district was elected Sarpanch or village chief after making the winning bid of 44 lakh rupees at an auction by the village committee on Tuesday.
On December 14, the residents of Bhatauli Gram Panchayat held a meeting at the Radha-Krishna temple where the bidding for a new village head was held. An offer of Rs 44 lakh from Saurabh Singh Yadav was the winner, and the decision was made that he would have indisputably claimed the position when elections were held to elect a new gram pradhan.
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According to local media reports, the tender started at Rs 21 lakh, with four claimants being asked to deposit Rs 5,000 as collateral, and ended at Rs 44 lakh as the maximum bid. If the winning candidate does not deposit the amount, the second-highest bidder would be the automatic applicant for the position, the rules stipulate. (Bhatauli Village in MP)
The villagers declared him the winner and wished him their “new” Sarpanch with garlands. They also decided that no one would compete against him in the next panchayat elections in the state.
If Yadav doesn’t deposit 44 lakh rupees, then his closest rival, the next highest bidder, can step in, those on the village committee said.
After the bidding process was completed, the villagers decided that no one would submit the nomination for the panchayat election against Saubhag Singh Yadav and that he would be elected unopposed. Yadav has been asked to pay Rs 44 lakh on Wednesday night and if he does not, he will be replaced by the second-highest bidder. According to the information, the money will be spent on the renovation of the temple.
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An official from the Ashok Nagar district collector’s office said they had only learned from the news, but its authenticity had not yet been determined.
A senior Ashok Nagar district official zilla panchayat, speaking to IANS, said: “This is completely against the rules and the matter will be investigated. If such things were allowed, people would start a new process to elect their representatives on the basis of payment of money.”
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