CMC mayor poll: Probables leave ball in party chief’s court

Cuttack: All three probable candidates for the Cuttack municipal corporation (CMC) mayor poll have left the ball in the court of party president Naveen Patnaik.

Since the mayor’s post is reserved for a scheduled caste (SC) woman, there are only three eligible candidates for the poll scheduled for January 22. They are; Sulochana Sethy, Minakshi Behera and Mamata Behera.

“Our chief minister Naveen Patnaik takes all decisions along with two MLAs (Barabati-Cuttack and Chowdar-Cuttack). We will work as per their decision,” said Meenakshi Behera, corporator of ward N0- 45.

Another contestant, Sulachana Sethi, Corporator of Ward No- 39, said, “I will accept whatever our chief minister Naveen Patnaik and three MLAs decide”.

Echoing the voice of Sethi, Mamata Behera, Corporator of Wad No – 51, said, “We will stick to the decision of our party and chief minister Naveen Patnaik”.

According to an SEC notification the nomination, scrutiny, withdrawal, election, counting and declaration of result will be made on the same day which is on January 22, the order said adding that the publication of the name of the duly elected mayor in official gazette would be held on January 25.

The post of the CMC mayor fell vacant on December 29, 2015 when the then mayor Anita Behera put in her papers after it was revealed that she had managed to obtain a ration card under NFSA to receive subsidised food grains. Her resignation was accepted by the CMC council on January 4 this year.

The CMC council now has 58 members with Anita Behera also quitting her position as corporator. The ruling BJD with 36 corporators is all set to regain the mayoral position if nothing untoward happens during the run-up to next week’s by election.

Publication of the name of the Mayor in official gazette will be made on January 25.