The Gram Panchayat is the basic or lowest level of Panchayat Raj in Karnataka. It has jurisdiction over a group of villages. Gram panchayat represents an assembly of the village elders who are directly elected by the citizens of the village. This panchayat unit is headed by a chairperson who is known as Sarpanch. The representatives of the Gram Panchayats are elected for five years. While the members are directly elected from wards, the Sarpanch is elected by the members. There are seats reserved for women, scheduled castes and scheduled tribes in Gram Panchayats.