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The Two BJP councillors disqualified for having three children, what is the whole matter?

2891349 BjpTwo BJP Councillors Disqualified: The ruling BJP in Gujarat has suffered a setback. Two party councillors of Damnagar Municipality in Amreli have been disqualified for having a third child in violation of the Gujarat Municipality Act, 1963.

According to the Indian Express report, the office of Amreli District Collector Ajay Dahiya issued an order on Monday disqualifying Khima Kasotiya and Meghna Bokha as councillors of the urban local body with immediate effect.

The collector cited the birth certificates kept on record by Damnagar Municipality Chief Officer Krupesh Patel in the decision.

However, the disqualification of councillors will not affect BJP’s hold on the civic body.

What did the collector say in his order ?
The collector said in his order, ‘Considering the application submitted by the applicant, the records produced as evidence in the case and the merits of the case, the following facts emerge… Respondent No. 1 (Khima Kasotiya) and 2 (Meghana Bokha) had two children at the time of election to Damnagar Municipality in 2021. The third child of respondent No. 1 was born on May 10, 2023 and the third child of respondent No. 2 was born on March 14, 2023.’

In his order, the collector said this was in violation of Section 11(1)(h) of the Gujarat Municipalities Act.

Section 11(1)(h) was added to the Gujarat Municipalities Act on August 4, 2005, disqualifying persons from becoming members of a municipal corporation if they have a third child after they became a councillor.

What is the whole matter ?
The collector’s order came in response to an application filed by a diamond polisher from Damnagar on January 16. Taking cognizance of Chhagan Bhakarsar’s application, the collector sought records from the chief officer and two corporators.

Both the corporators opposed the application, saying that this rule does not apply to the birth of a third child after the municipal elections. However, their objections were rejected by the collector.

What did the two leaders say about the decision ?
According to the report, both Kasotiya and Bokha were first-time councillors. Kasotiya (26) said, “I will study the collector’s decision to disqualify me and then decide my future course of action.”

Bokha’s husband Arvind said he accepts the collector’s order. “We were under the impression that if a third child is born while serving as a municipal member, it has no impact on her as a councillor. But if the rule really says so and my wife has been disqualified, I accept it,” he said.

Arvind said, ‘I am not denying the fact that we became parents of a third child last year and if there is any rule that disqualifies someone from becoming parents of a third child, then we do not want to go against it.’