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Saswat Singhdeo

Bhubaneswar: The existing mechanism of elections in the urban local bodies in Odisha is going to get a makeover with direct polls for mayor & municipality chairperson posts.

The proposal has been approved by the Odisha Cabinet during a meeting held yesterday and a bill will soon be tabled in the State Assembly, sources said.

“The functions of the Mayor and the Chairperson of the Municipal Corporation and the Municipality are inhibited  as they don't enjoy the popular mandate of the whole urban area resulting in weakened leadership which reflects in their lack of assertiveness in decision making,” an official statement read.

Both the BJP and Congress have slammed the State government’s proposal.

“The State government is only trying to keep the people engaged. I feel such decisions don't matter to the common man,” Opposition leader, Narasingha Mishra said.

On the other hand, BJP General Secretary Bhrugu Baxipatra said, “This is a political gimmick of BJD. We strongly condemn the decision.”

Housing and Urban Development Minister, Niranjan Pujari without commenting on the matter said “Municipal elections should be held on time.”

Meanwhile, voters have welcomed the government’s decision and said that this will stop horse trading.

“The elected candidates will get more opportunities to help the people and will be answerable directly to the voters. This will also help in selection of good leaders,” a resident of Berhampur said.



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