BJD bags 48 ULB chief posts

Bhubaneswar: The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has reaffirmed its hegemony in the election for chairperson/mayor posts to the urban local bodies by forming councils at 48 places including the much- awaited Berhampur Municipal Corporation. The Opposition Congress bagged 11 posts while BJP headed at two places, according to State Election Commission.
 
Independent candidates managed to form councils at Kodala (Ganjam), Anandapur (Keonjhar), Jatani (Khurda), Udala (Mayurbhanj) and Koraput of the 66 civic bodies that went to polls on September 19.
 
Interestingly, fate played a crucial role in selection of the chairpersons in Bhadrak, Dhenkanal and Kotpad as they were selected through lottery since votes favouring them in the respective civic bodies ended in a tie.
 
"We have to select the winners through lottery as there was tie between BJD and Congress in three ULBs. And in all the three places, BJD candidates won the draw," said State Election Commissioner (SEC) Ajit Kumar Tripathy.
 
The Puri civic body’s top post dramatically went to the ruling party’s Jayanta Kumar Sarangi following the withdrawal of nomination by Gourahari Pradhan of Congress.
In the 31-ward Balasore Municipal Corporation, Alok Sahu was elected chairman after defeating Padmalochan Lenka by 23 votes.
 
In Berhampur, K Madhabi, the councilor of ward no 16 was elected mayor after getting a thumping majority of 29 votes against 10 that went in favour of Congress. Similarly in Jeypore Municipality, R Padma won the top post uncontested.
 
Talking to reporters Madhabi said, “Definitely I will work for the overall development of Berhampur. Especially I will focus on the sewer system, water supply and plantation.”
 
On party’s win, that is expected to have an immediate impact on the ensuing LS and Assembly polls next year, BJD supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said, “I am delighted with the results of the urban elections… our party has won 74% results in the election.”
 
On the other hand, Congress alleged that the ruling party openly violated poll codes in several occasions and won the election.
 
“The situation clearly indicates that an amicable atmosphere was created favouring the ruling party. And it (BJD) too used official machinery to head the civic bodies,” stated OPCC president Jayadev Jena.