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Mrunal Manmay Dash

With the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) Mayor candidates winning all three Municipal Corporations; Bhubaneswar (BMC), Cuttack (CMC) and Berhampur (BeMC), the positions of Deputy Mayor is now up for grabs by eligible candidates.

As the BJD has an obvious majority in all three Corporations, it has already been decided that the Deputy Mayors will be from the Conch party as well. However, like obtaining Corporator tickets from BJD, Dy Mayor aspirants have already begun lobbying with senior leaders for the coveted position.

Take example of the Odisha capital city, Bhubaneswar. At least three senior corporators are in the race for the key position right now apart from some other corporators. As the Mayor is a woman (Sulochana Das), the Deputy Mayor, in all likelihood, is going to be a male corporator from BJD.

One of the lobbyists for the Dy Mayor position in the BMC is Biranchi Narayan Mahasupakar from ward number 59. He has been a Corporator from the inception of the BMC in 2003. With four straight wins under his belt, he has risen as the primary contender for the deputy of Sulochana Das.

“BJD Supremo Naveen Patnaik will take the final call on this. I hope he chooses the right candidate,” said Mahasupakar.

After Mahasupakar, the Corporator of Ward number 45, Amaresh Jena has emerged as a strong contender as well. A three-time Corporator from the BJD, he is all set to throw a tough challenge to Mahasupakar.

Jena told OTV, “Speculations are rife that I might be elected as the Deputy Mayor of BMC. The yardstick for winning the race is public welfare. And I hope CM Naveen takes the right decision.”

Similarly, the Corporator from Ward No 1, Mihir Rout has a huge support behind him. His wife had won in 2014 and now he himself has won this election. As per reports, Rout has a huge fan following from Ward No 1 and 2.

As far as the MLAs are concerned, all three BJD legislators from Bhubaneswar have begun luring the independent Corporators into the party fold. The Corporator strength in their kitty is going to be the determining factor in deciding whose candidate wins the Deputy Mayor position.

The race for Deputy Mayor in the Millenium City of Cuttack is also making pulses of the aspirants pound. With Subhas Singh winning as the Mayor of CMC, the Deputy Mayor post is likely to go to a female Corporator from BJD.

22-year-old Damayanti Majhi from Balisahi slum, who has become the youngest candidate to win the Corpopration polls is in the fray for the Deputy Mayor position. Her educational qualifications are likely to help her win the race.

Speaking to OTV, Majhi said, “I have done my MCom from the Ravenshaw University. I will be really happy to serve the people of Cuttack if I get a chance to be the Deputy Mayor.”

Apart from Majhi, A Sridevi from Ward 17, Namita Barik from Ward 8, Madhusmita Barik from Ward No 36 and Pralaya Beura from Ward No 46 are now in the race too.

The election to the Deputy Mayor position will be held on April 9.

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