A man in the Bhatauli gram panchayat of Ashok Nagar district in Madhya Pradesh was chosen Sarpanch or village head after making the Rs 44 lakh winning bid at an auction conducted by the village committee on Tuesday. On December 14, residents of the Bhatauli Gram Panchayat held a meeting at the Radha-Krishna temple where the bidding to choose a new village head was conducted. A bid of Rs 44 lakh by Saurabh Singh Yadav emerged winner, and a decision was made that he would have undisputed claim to the post when the polls to elect a new gram pradhan are held.
As per local media reports, the bidding began at Rs 21 lakh — with four claimants who were all asked to deposit Rs 5,000 as security money — and ended at Rs 44 lakh as the top bid. Failure by the winning candidate to deposit the amount would make the second-highest bidder the automatic claimant to the post, the rules stipulate.
Bhatauli Gram Panchayat comes under the Chanderi district which will vote in the third and final phase of the panchayat elections on February 16. The villagers have said that the money collected through the auction will be utilised towards village development, and the restoration and expansion of the Radha-Krishna temple.
Authorities, however, have refused to acknowledge the process adopted by the village and said that the village head can only be appointed following the stipulated poll procedure. However, there is no bar on the winning bidder filing his nomination before the elections.