Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Feb 22:
In a significant verdict, the State Election Commission (SEC) of Odisha has disqualified nine BJD councillors of Kendujhargarh Municipality.
These BJD councilors-Sushree Sangeeta Nanda, Dillip Kumar Behera, Swarnalata Sahu, Prabhati Patnaik, Sabita Sethi, Kumudini Nayak, Satrughna Nayak, Sunil Kumar Nayak and Kuna Naik had voted in favour of the no-trust motion against Kendujhargarh Municipality chairperson Meena Majhi ignoring party whip.
BJD had moved the SEC seeking their disqualification under the provisions of the anti-defection law. These councilors had met and urged SEC RN Senapati on January 4 not to disqualify them since they had already resigned from the party before the amended law came into force.
The SEC had completed its hearing in the matter on February 3 and had kept its verdict reserved in the matter, since a case pertaining to the issue was pending in the High Court.
“After complainant Meena Majhi withdrew her case from the Orissa High Court, the state election commissioner which had kept its verdict reserved in the matter after completing hearing pronounced its verdict disqualifying nine councillors of Kendujhargarh Municipality from their post in accordance with the law for voting in favour of the no-trust motion against the chairperson ignoring party whip,” said law officer SEC Madhuri Mishra.
“The commissioner who had kept his verdict reserved in the matter, pronounced it on February 19, 2016 after receiving the order from the High Court that Majhi had withdrawn her case. The verdict was pronounced under section 46(A) 1(b) of the Odisha Municipal Act, 1950,” Mishra added.