The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Thursday constituted a four-member committee for selection of candidates for election to Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) scheduled to be held on January 8. The committee members are Panchayatiraj Minister Kalpataru Das, Rural Development Minister Bikram Arukh, Women and Child Development Minister Usha Devi and former minister Pramila Mallik.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had a meeting with committee members at Naveen Niwas here to set guidelines for selection of candidates. Outgoing Mayor Anant Narayan Jena and three Bhubaneswar MLAs Bhagirathi Badjena, Ashok Panda and Bijay Mohanty will also play a role in the selection of candidates. The final decision will, however, be taken by the Chief Minister.Naveen has set three criteria for selection of the candidates. Candidates who have criminal antecedents would not be considered while allegiance to the party and winning prospects would be given maximum weightage, party party sources said. The Opposition BJP, Congress and Odisha Jana Morcha (OJM) have also set similar criteria for selection of candidates for election.