Saswat Singhdeo

Phulbani: A woman in Kandhamal district lost her block chairman post and committee membership on charges that she has more than two children, a norm which disqualifies a person from contesting local elections.

While hearing a poll-related case, the district judge pronounced the verdict against Daringbadi block chairman Subhranti Pradhan, who is the wife of G.Udaygiri MLA Saluga Pradhan and mother of three children. As per reports, a member of Tajungia panchayat samiti, Ruda Mallick, had objected Subhranti's chairmanship and filed a case against her.

"As per the government rules, having more than two children leads to disqualification from holding important posts. A case was registered under section 45B earlier and today the district judge pronounced the judgement," said Sidheswar Pradhan, advocate of the petitioner.

Last year, the Supreme Court had ruled that birth of a third child would automatically disqualify a person from contesting panchayat polls and from holding the post of a member or sarpanch in a panchayat.

It is pertinent to mention that among 11 Indian states, Odisha imposes a ‘two-child limit’ that prevents people with more than two children from contesting panchayat elections at the village, block and district levels.