Nine Keonjhar rebel BJD councilors lose posts

Bhubaneswar : Violating the party whip has cost nine BJD councilors of Keonjhar municipality dear as the State Election Commission (SEC) today rejected their petitions and disqualified them as members of the civic body.

Defying the party whip, the nine dissident councilors had voted in favour of a no-confidence motion against Keonjhar municipality chairperson Meena Majhi on December 28. Majhi was unseated after 15 councillors, including the nine from BJD, in the 21-member house voted against her.

The BJD had threatened the councilors to disqualify them under the amended anti-defection law following which all the nine members – Sushree Sangeeta Nanda, Dillip Kumar Behera, Swarnalata Sahu, Prabhati Patnaik, Sabita Sethi, Kumudini Nayak, Satrughna Nayak, Sunil Kumar Nayak and Kuna Naik – had urged the SEC RN Senapati on January 4 not to disqualify them since they had already resigned from the party before the amended law came into force.

They had claimed that disqualification could not be applicable in their case as they, the representing group having not less than two-thirds of BJD members, had moved a no-confidence motion before the amended provision came into force, they had informed news persons after meeting the SEC.

The nine councilors had said they had resigned from the primary membership of the BJD in January last year and had conveyed their decision to the party supremo in a letter.