Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 17:
The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) today expectedly elected seven chairpersons in as many urban local bodies (ULBs) in Odisha, elections for which were held on April 8 this year. All seven of them were elected unopposed.
The party’s poll observers made the formal announcement about the winning candidates in the presence of the councillors of the respective civic bodies.
The chairperson of four municipalities and three notified area councils (NACs) elected unopposed today are: Basant Biswal, Paradeep Municipality, Subhashree Mallick, Sunabeda Municipality, Parshuram Sahoo, Belpahar Municipality, Bhagyashree Nag, Tusra NAC, Babita Sahu, Daspalla NAC, Hira Bag, Dharmagarh NAC and Laxmi Pangi, Balimela NAC.
Notably, the BJD has given more than 50 percent representation to women in the top post as four out of seven have bagged the chairperson’s post.
The fate of aspiring chairpersons was sealed in an envelope after the approval from BJD President Naveen Patnaik yesterday.
The winning candidates were lobbying for the top posts since the last seven days after the conclusion of the municipal and Notified Area Council (NAC) elections on April 8.
To put the rumours to rest, party supremo Naveen Patnaik yesterday held a meeting with winning councillors here in the presence of senior party leaders Damodar Rout, Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak, Devi Prasanna Mishra, Pranab Prakash Das and others. These leaders were entrusted with the responsibility to oversee the selection of chairmen of various civic bodies as poll observers.
After a meeting of the poll observers at Naveen Niwas last evening, they were handed over envelopes sealed with wax to be opened in the council meeting in front of the councillors today. The names finalised by the party chief were to be accepted by all the party workers, the observers were told.
“The parameter for selection of chairmen was a councillor having sound educational background, capable and clean image. The observers will take an appropriate decision and everybody should respect their decision,” Naveen told the winning councillors.
Notably, the BJD has won 80 percent seats in the 8 ULB elections held earlier this month. The ruling party’s candidates have won 103 of the 129 wards that went to poll. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won 12, the Congress 11 and the independent candidates bagged three seats.
After this resounding victory, the forametion of the councils by the BJD was a mere formality.
It may be mentioned that notification was issued for council meeting in 7 ULB barring Rairakhol NAC. A notification will be issued on April 27 for election of vice-chairmen which will be held on May 6.
As the term of Rairakhol NAC will expire on May 22, the election for chairman and vice chairman election will be held on May 23 and June 9 respectively. The notification for chairman election and vice chairman election will be issued on May 8 and June 2.