Odisha cabinet okays anti-defection provision for ZP, ULB members

Bhubaneswar: To prevent the defection of the elected members of the Zilla Parishad and urban local bodies (ULBs) to other political parties, the state cabinet on Thursday approved amendment of the Zilla Parishad Act.

To prevent defection in the Zilla Parishad, the cabinet approved a proposal in the amendment of the Zilla Parishad Act with the provision of anti-defection law. Under the existing three-tier Panchayati Raj system, election to the Zilla Parishad is done on party basis. The political parties field their candidates for the election to the Parishad with their respective party symbols.

Earlier, there was no provision on the consequence of defection to other parties after the election. Taking note of this, the state cabinet decided that its approval of the proposal in the incorporation of some provisions relating to defection would be placed in the State Assembly in its next session for approval.

Giving details on the decision of the cabinet, commissioner-cum-secretary, Panchayati Raj, Deoranjan Kumar Singh said there will be insertion of sub-section of 33 (b), 33 (c), 33 (d) and 33 (4) in Section 33 of the Anti-defection Act. Under the new provision of the Act, if an elected candidate of a political party voluntarily resigns from the party, his/her membership in the Parishad would be cancelled. Besides, if an elected member of the political party works against the wishes of his/her party supremo by casting votes in the election of the president, vice president or standing committee, he/she will cease to qualify as the member. The same provision would also be applicable to an elected Independent member if he/she joins a political party after the election. The state government would leave the decision of disqualification of zilla parishad members to the State Election Commission (SEC) for which it would move a bill to this effect in the next session of the State Assembly.

There will be similar provisions in the amendment of Odisha Municipality Act, Municipal Corporation Act which will be applicable for the elected councillors and corporators.