It might be difficult to believe, but Mr. Sambhaji Lakshman Patil from Karnataka is currently both a MLA in the Karnataka Assembly and a councilor in the Belagavi City Corporation. The existing law does not prohibit holding two such positions simultaneously.

The issue of public representatives simultaneously holding two official positions is once again in the lime light, thanks to Mr. Sambhaji Lakshman Patil. He is currently a serving MLA in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly representing the Belgaum South constituency. Not just that, he is also a serving Councilorrepresenting the 15th ward in the Belagavi City Corporation. How is he holding two positions simultaneously? The loopholes in the relevant laws are aiding people like Mr. Patil.

sambhaji laxman patil mla and councilor_photo

The Parliament/Assembly Elections Vs Local Elections

The Election Commission of India is in charge of conducting the Parliament/Assembly/Council elections, while elections to the local bodies like Municipalities, Corporations & Zilla Parishads are conducted by the State Election Commissions. Effectively, laws related to the Parliament & Assembly elections are made by the Parliament and the laws related to the local body elections are made by the respective State Governments.

The central law does not allow a person to be a MP & a MLA simultaneously

Sections 68,69 & 70 of the Representation of People’s act (1950) do talk about people getting elected simultaneously from multiple houses or multiple constituencies. Rule 91 of the Conduct of Election Rules (1961) specify the timeline within which a member is supposed to resign in case he is elected to multiple houses.

Article 101(2) of the Constitution of India also disallows any person from simultaneously holding the positions of a MP and a MLA.

#mustread" data-image-description="<p>&nbsp;</p> <p>[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="300"]<a href="" target="_blank"><img class="zemanta-img-inserted zemanta-img-configured" title="English: , a prominent Indian muslim scholar i..." src="" alt="English: , a prominent Indian muslim scholar i..." width="300" height="273" /></a> English: , a prominent Indian muslim scholar in a seminar in Pune University. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)[/caption]</p> <p align="center"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">OUTBREAK OF VIOLENCE IN MUMBAI – <a class="zem_slink" title="Assam" href=",91.77&amp;spn=1.0,1.0&amp;q=26.14,91.77 (Assam)&amp;t=h" rel="geolocation" target="_blank">ASSAM</a> AND <a class="zem_slink" title="Burma" href=",96.1&amp;spn=10.0,10.0&amp;q=19.75,96.1 (Burma)&amp;t=h" rel="geolocation" target="_blank">BURMA</a> KILLING OF MUSLIMS</span></p> <p align="center"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"> </span></p> <p align="center"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><a class="zem_slink" title="Asghar Ali Engineer" href="" rel="wikipedia" target="_blank">Asghar Ali Engineer</a></span></p> <p><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"> </span></p> <p><em><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">(Secular Perspective August 16-31, 2012)</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"> </span></p> <p><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">The way things were happening for last few weeks it was not surprising that violence on such scale took place. It was, as if, in store, large scale propaganda was going on that <a class="zem_slink" title="Muslim" href="" rel="wikipedia" target="_blank">Muslims</a> are being killed all over the world. There is conspiracy to kill Muslims everywhere and on Bodo-Muslim clashes and about Rohingiyah Muslims in Burma prayers were being organized in every mosque and SMSs were circulating about it. Urdu papers were carrying articles saying there is world-wide conspiracy to kill Muslims. Articles simply appealing to emotions, not to reason.</span></p> <p><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"> </span></p> <p><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">I have not seen any sober and analytical article in the Urdu press in Mumbai. The Muslim leadership was creating a psychology of victimhood in the minds of Muslims and pent up emotions were waiting to explode with some triggering event. The photographs about killing of Muslims in Burma had greatly disturbed the Muslim youth. All photographs, I must say, were not authentic but they circulated on large scale and ignited emotions.</span></p> <p><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"> </span></p> <p><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">Muslim leadership which hardly does anything for the real welfare of the community always has an eye on such sensitive situations and wants to grab the opportunity to enhance their own interests. Also, mosques were used to announce about rally giving it further religious colour. For those who go to mosques to pray, in large numbers, particularly in the holy month of Ramadan, are gullible and the moment religious colour is given to an issue they become extra-sensitive.</span></p> <p><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"> </span></p> <p><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">These religious leaders and also some non-religious leaders of Muslims neither fully understand the problem what is the conflict about nor they care to know the facts what is going on the ground. They simply make it a case of conspiracy against Muslims. In <a class="zem_slink" title="Azad Maidan" href="" rel="wikipedia" target="_blank">Azad Maidan</a> too where rally was organized despite knowing that huge crowd is there with all sorts of people, including anti-social elements, the speakers made highly emotional speeches especially attacking media for not covering killing of Muslims in Burma. Then what more do you want to incite emotions for anything to happen.</span></p> <p><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"> </span></p> <p><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">It was not only question of managing the crowd; it was utterly irresponsible act on the part of leadership of the rally. If they had expected only 1500 persons to come and 50,000 turned up the leaders should have clearly understood that situation can get out of control any time as they were simply dealing with raw emotions. A wise leadership would not have allowed highly emotional speeches in the midst of such huge crowd and fuel emotions further.</span></p> <p><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"> </span></p> <p><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">It is also not correct to say that they expected only 1500 people to turn up as they were making announcements inside the mosque on Friday and also posters were put up. It means they aimed higher and made efforts to mobilize large number of people and succeeded in it. Ideal thing would have been to have a <em>dharna</em>by about 1000-1500 seriously interested people for a day long <em>dharna</em> and then they could have met Chief Minister or Home Minister. There was no need at all for such a huge rally.</span></p> <p><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"> </span></p> <p><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">And if at all such a huge rally was organized why such emotional speeches were made? They should have understood the sensitivity of the problem. But then if they did, how can they be Muslims leadership without arousing religious sentiments? In fact as far as Assam is concerned hardly any one of those who actively organized the rally knew anything about the nature of conflict except that Muslims were killed.</span></p> <p><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"> </span></p> <p><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">What was the history of Bodo-Muslim conflict in Assam? <a class="zem_slink" title="Bodo people" href="" rel="wikipedia" target="_blank">Bodos</a> are not killing Muslims because of their Muslimness but the fundamental problem is of land. Bodos are in conflict with other communities also like Adibashis, <a class="zem_slink" title="Santal" href="" rel="wikipedia" target="_blank">Santhals</a> and others and they have come in conflict with all these communities. Though it is not true that <a class="zem_slink" title="Bengali language" href="" rel="wikipedia" target="_blank">Bangla</a> Deshis are migrating in large numbers (this is largely the <a class="zem_slink" title="Sangh Parivar" href="" rel="wikipedia" target="_blank">Sangh Parivar</a> propaganda) by unfortunately Bodos, in order to fulfill their ambition of Bodo-land and for evicting Bengali Muslims and other ethnic communities from the 4 districts of Bodo Territorial Council, are using this propaganda for their own purposes. One can of course blame the Congress Government for giving Bodos BTC to buy peace with militant Bodo outfits. They should not have without taking other ethnic communities in confidence and giving them proper representation. We have dealt with this issue on our last article on Bodo-Muslim riots in Kokrajhar and other districts.</span></p> <p><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"> </span></p> <p><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">As for Rohingiyah Muslims it is the Military <a class="zem_slink" title="Politics of Burma" href="" rel="wikipedia" target="_blank">Government of Myanmar</a> which is to be blamed. I visited Rangoon after the recent riots and interviewed large number of Rohingya Muslims. No such problem existed until 1981. They were treated as regular citizens and had voting rights. It was the Military Government of Myanmar which suddenly and without any proper reason, took away their papers from them and tried to expel them from Rakhine district of Western Myanmar.</span></p> <p><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"> </span></p> <p><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">It treats these Muslims as foreigners and wants Bangla Desh to settle them in its territory which is totally unjust. Rohingya Muslims have been in that province for centuries and there is no case to describe them as outsiders. Most of them had settled there with Muslim rule. But the Military Government of Myanmar has been killing Burmese of other provinces too and killed several Buddhist monks also during pro-democracy demonstrations.</span></p> <p><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"> </span></p> <p><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">It is true that some Buddhist monks have issued pamphlets against Rakhine Muslims to show solidarity with their co-religionists which they should not have done. But then like others Buddhists monks also are getting politicized as their pro-democracy demonstration also shows. But in both cases (i.e. Assam and Rohingya Muslims) it is not part of any world wide conspiracy to kill Muslims as it is being propagated.</span></p> <p><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"> </span></p> <p><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">In Mumbai violence media came under attack for no reason except that provocative speeches were made against media. It was quite ill-advise. A wise leadership would rather try to win over media rather than antagonize it this way. Also, one cannot tar the media with the same brush. Both print and electronic media has different ideological and commercial approaches. A blatant attack is totally wrong and even if a section of media is ideologically against or indifferent to Muslim problems, solution does not lie in attacking its journalists, or OB vans. It is at best foolish.</span></p> <p><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"> </span></p> <p><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">Urdu papers often write that let Ulama-kiram (Honourable Ulama) guide the Muslim ummah and give it a lead. How can one expect Ulama who hardly have knowledge of the modern world and for whom provoking religious sentiments is part of their orientation, can provide leadership. It is not to say that all Ulama are like this but a large number of Ulama – and this has been proved repeatedly in political matters – behave either in opportunistic or emotional way.</span></p> <p><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"> </span></p> <p><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">And let us remember all this happened in the holy month of Ramadan. The ulama never tire of telling us that this month of fasting so that we become more patient and able to control our anger and we must devote us entirely to ‘ibadat i.e. acts of worship, compassion and charity. What was then hurry to take out this rally in this holy month when no fresh incidents were taking place. The Assam situation had come under control and what was urgently needed was to collect money, clothes, shoes and medicines for those in relief camps in those four districts.</span></p> <p><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"> </span></p> <p><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">In this holy month of charity they could have concentrated on collecting relief for those unfortunate 4 million people who are rotting in relief camps in most unspeakable conditions. Many Bodos also have been killed in retaliatory actions and quite a few Bodos are also living in these relief camps in as bad a condition as Bengali speaking Muslims. As a good and compassionate Muslims, in this month of charity they should adopt inclusive approach and collect relief for Bodos too. This is what the Holy Qur’an also requires of them.</span></p> <p><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"> </span></p> <p><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">If instead of making it a conspiracy against Muslims, if they had condemned killing of Bodos too and prayed for all it would not have acquired such emotional proportions. Also the rally also should not have been exclusively a Muslim rally but a rally with the support of all sections of Indian society i.e. Hindus, Christians, Buddhists and all others – besides Muslims – to strengthen our secular character. It was not only exclusively Muslim but organized by Raza Academy – representing Barelvi Muslims. What a sectarian approach. Deobandis were to organize separately a day after but was postponed because of violent turn which the rally on Saturday took.</span></p> <p><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"> </span></p> <p><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">If we have to be against violence and it should be our serious commitment – we have to be more and more inclusive. When ever sectarian approach is adopted, it becomes easier to resort to violence and if it is inclusive of all sections it is not only more democratic but also likely to be more non-violent. Sectarian approach also results in competitive approach and inclusive approach is also cooperative approach.</span></p> <p><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"> </span></p> <p><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">The police is now saying the violence was pre-planned which may result in harassment of many Muslim youth. It is shameful that some rallyists molested women constables and seized revolvers from them. The police may take revenge for this. Let us hope police does not. But one must say the police had shown lot of restraint and Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik himself had come and spoken from the platform appealing Muslims to show restraint in this holy month of Ramadan.</span></p> <p><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"> </span></p> <p><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">Let us hope wiser counsel will prevail and peace would not be disturbed.    </span></p> <p><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">————————————————-</span></p> <p><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">Centre for Study of Society and Secularism</span></p> <p><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">Mumbai.</span></p> <p><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">E-mail: </span><a href="mailto:[email protected]" target="_blank"><span style="color:#0000ff;font-family:'Times New Roman';">[email protected]</span></a></p> <h6 class="zemanta-related-title" style="font-size:1em;">Related articles</h6> <ul class="zemanta-article-ul"> <li class="zemanta-article-ul-li"><a href="" target="_blank">This land is my Land- How are demographics changing in Assam and Bengal?</a> (</li> <li class="zemanta-article-ul-li"><a href="" target="_blank">Truth behind the Violence- Mumbai Police’s mature handling of Saturday’s protest #mustshare</a> (</li> <li class="zemanta-article-ul-li"><a href="" target="_blank">Bringing Bangladeshi Angle to Assamese Ethnic Conflict is Disservice to the Nation</a> (</li> <li class="zemanta-article-ul-li"><a href="" target="_blank">Assam riots: Real issue is development</a> (</li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> " data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-6784 no-display appear" src="" alt="sambhaji laxman patil mla and councilor_article 101(2)" width="400" height="162" />

Then how is Mr. Patil able to hold both positions?

The Central law does not talk about a person holding positions of a MP/MLA and a position in the local body simultaneously. The central law only talks about MP/MLA while the relevant state law talks only about a person being simultaneously elected from multiple divisions.

Section 31 of The Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act (1976) does prohibit simultaneous membership, but only with respect to persons elected from more than one division in the relevant municipal corporation. So technically, a person can simultaneously be a MP/MLA and be a member of the local body like the municipal corporation.

sambhaji laxman patil mla and councilor_section 31 karnataka municipal corporations act

In fact, most state laws have the same glaring loophole. They do not restrict serving MLAs/MPs to contest local body elections and simultaneously hold both the positions. This is absurd for multiple reasons.

Article 243-R of the constitution of India defines the composition of a municipality as including the MPs/MLAs representing constituencies wholly or partially within the municipal area.  In other words, all the MPs/MLAs representing constituencies within a municipal region automatically become ex-officio members of the municipality. They however do not enjoy voting rights.

When they hold simultaneous positions like in the case of Mr. Patil, they play dual role in the corporation meetings, as a MLA and also as a Councilor.

The Curious Case of Sambhaji Lakshman Patil  

Mr. Sambhaji Lakshman Patil was elected as a Councilor from 15th ward of the Belagavi City Corporation in March 2013. He was later elected to the Karnataka State Assembly from the Belgaum South constituency in May 2013. Since the law does not debar holding these two positions simultaneously, he continues to hold these two positions till date.

In fact, his name is mentioned twice in the city council meeting minutes as he is a member of the city council both as a MLA and as an elected councilor of the 15th ward. It is like the same person playing a dual role.

#mustread #mustshare" data-image-description="<p>&nbsp;</p> <p id="yui_3_2_0_1_1345114349561142"><strong>15 August 2012</strong></p> <p id="yui_3_2_0_1_1345114349561139">Dear Friends,</p> <p><strong>This is a crucial moment. Please help us to double support for Stand Up for <a class="zem_slink" title="Tibet" href="" rel="wikipedia" target="_blank">Tibet</a></strong>.</p> <p><img src=";ea_filename=TsewangNorbu.jpeg" alt="TsewangNorbu.jpeg" /></p> <p>One year ago 29-year old monk Tsewang Norbu set light to himself and died in Tawu, eastern Tibet. Although not the first self-immolation in Tibet – Tapey, in February 2009 was followed two years later by Phuntsok in March 2011 –<strong>this was our first realization that those fiery protests were not isolated incidents,</strong> and that what we were witnessing unfold in Tibet was a tragedy of enormous proportions.</p> <p><strong>Unbelievably, there have now been almost 50 confirmed self-immolations in Tibet;</strong> a staggering 36 since 1 January 2012 and five in the past 10 days alone. At least 39 of all these protestors have died from their burns.</p> <p><strong>Something different is happening in Tibet.</strong> Over 60 years of occupation, periods of <a class="zem_slink" title="Tibetan resistance since 1950" href="" rel="wikipedia" target="_blank">Tibetan resistance</a> have been crushed by China’s military forces. But trying to stop individuals who are determined to set light to themselves must be akin to trying to stop grains of sand running through their fingers. And more than that, <strong>China is also now discovering that its military might is unable to prevent mass gatherings of Tibetans,</strong> whether they are praying for those self-immolating or engaging in more challenging acts of protest.</p> <p>On Monday several Tibetans were brutally beaten, one possibly fatally, after a protest erupted in the immediate aftermath of the twin self-immolations by Tashi and Lungtok in Ngaba, Amdo. And as I write this message, a mass demonstration is taking place in <a class="zem_slink" title="Tongren County" href=",102.08125&amp;spn=1.0,1.0&amp;q=35.4102694444,102.08125 (Tongren%20County)&amp;t=h" rel="geolocation" target="_blank">Rebkong</a>, Amdo, with several hundred Tibetans gathered outside the police station to protest against the unprovoked beating of four Tibetans by drunken police.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>I’m writing to ask that you continue to stand with Tibet. </strong>Although we feel heartbroken by the news of each passing self-immolation,<strong> the <a class="zem_slink" title="Tibetan people" href="" rel="wikipedia" target="_blank">Tibetan people</a> need our support now more than ever. </strong>We mustn’t lose focus. <strong>Now is the time to double our efforts, in raising awareness and pressing for political action, because we’re making an impact. </strong><br /> Tibetans in Tibet are not alone. They have your support and your pledge to Stand Up for Tibet. And the Tibet movement has made important progress towards our main objectives.</p> <p><img src=";ea_filename=Rebkongprotest.jpg" alt="Rebkongprotest.jpg" /></p> <p><strong>*</strong><strong> Tibet Groups around the world have delivered your pledge and worked hard to press governments to publicly express concern</strong>. <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Many of the world’s most influential governments have spoken out</a>, including at sessions of the <a class="zem_slink" title="United Nations Human Rights Council" href="" rel="wikipedia" target="_blank">United Nations Human Rights Council</a>. In early September, as the <a class="zem_slink" title="United Nations General Assembly" href="" rel="homepage" target="_blank">United Nations General Assembly</a> and Human Rights Council prepare to meet, we’ll be calling for an International Advocacy Day and will send you more details soon.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>* Our demand for governments to act together for Tibet is gradually gaining traction.</strong> We were delighted to see that US Congressmen Frank Wolf and James McGovern wrote to <a class="zem_slink" title="Hillary Clinton" href="" rel="biographycom" target="_blank">Secretary of State Hillary Clinton</a> this week, calling for “stronger, more coordinated, visible international diplomatic steps with regard to the <a class="zem_slink" title="China" href=",116.383333333&amp;spn=10.0,10.0&amp;q=39.9166666667,116.383333333 (China)&amp;t=h" rel="geolocation" target="_blank">People’s Republic of China’s</a> policies and practices towards Tibetans.” Read the full letter <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> <p id="yui_3_2_0_1_1345114349561132"> <strong>* A number of key governments have strongly pressed China allow access to the region</strong>, including the European Union and Australia. China has agreed that <a class="zem_slink" title="United Nations" href="" rel="wikipedia" target="_blank">the UN</a> Human Rights Commissioner can visit Tibet as part of a wider visit to China, but no dates have been agreed. Online advocacy group Avaaz joined this campaign and nearly 700,000 people signed an appeal for governments to demand urgent access to Tibet.</p> <p><strong>* Tibet Groups have generated significant <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">media coverage</a> of the self-immolations, and made a huge effort to raise public awareness</strong>, staging coordinated actions and protests around the globe on a regular basis over the last 12 months.</p> <p>On this anniversary of Tsewang Norbu’s self-immolation,<strong> I am writing to ask each and every one of you to undertake to get one more person to sign the <a id="yui_3_2_0_1_1345114349561129" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Stand Up for Tibet pledge</a>, and help us to double the support for Tibetans in Tibet to more than 100,000 people. </strong>Let’s respond to this rapid increase in self-immolations in Tibet with a huge increase in those pledging to take action, to help Tibetans realise their dreams for freedom and for the return of His Holiness to Tibet.</p> <p>Many, many thanks for your support,</p> <p>Alison Reynolds<br /> Executive Director, International Tibet Network Secretariat</p> <p>The second image shows protests in Rebkong, Tibet on 14 August 2012. The banner reads “The atrocity committed by the Administration’s <a class="zem_slink" title="People's Armed Police" href="" rel="wikipedia" target="_blank">People’s Armed Police</a> to the masses”</p> <h6 class="zemanta-related-title" style="font-size:1em;">Related articles</h6> <ul class="zemanta-article-ul"> <li class="zemanta-article-ul-li"><a href="" target="_blank">Two Tibetans self-immolate in China protest</a> (</li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> " data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-6782 no-display appear" src="" alt="sambhaji laxman patil mla and councilor_city council meeting minutes name twice" width="511" height="137" />

What is the issue with holding two positions?

When Factly spoke to the Belagavi City Corporation Commissioner, he confirmed Mr. Patil is drawing his salary as a councilor of the city corporation.  He also added that there is no violation of the relevant state act because of his holding two positions. Factly also spoke to Mr. Patil who maintained that he is not violating any rule book. Mr. Patil is also drawing salary/allowances as a MLA of the state assembly.

Many countries across the world prohibit such dual mandate since the person cannot do justice to both the roles at the same time. Also, the person continues to draw salary and allowances as allowed for both the positions. It is time the Central & State governments took note of this and correct this glaring loophole in law.

Featured Image:
Representation of Shambhaji Lakshman Patil’s public domain photos and Vidhana Soudha image By Muhammad Mahdi Karim and Mydreamsparrow (Own work) [GFDL 1.2], via Wikimedia Commons