Muralidhara Khajane-With the government announcing the roster of reservation for presidents and vice-presidents of zilla panchayats across the State for the next 20 months, decks have been cleared for a Soliga tribal woman to become the vice-president of the Chamarajanagar Zilla Panchayat.
The post has been reserved for Scheduled Tribes (woman). Ms. Ketamma was the first woman from the tribal community to win a ZP election in Chamarajnagar district.
An elated Ms. Ketamma told The Hindu that she had been given an opportunity to serve Soligas, one of the most backward communities in the State. As the Congress candidate, she defeated her nearest rival from the Bharatiya Janata Party by 59 votes in the 2011 polls from Yelandur Kasba.
Her victory was significant as her rival was from the dominant Nayaka community, with a population of more than 40,000. “I spent Rs.15,000 from my savings in that election and refused to receive party funds,” she said.