Anita Behera was elected Mayor of Cuttack as BJD on Thursday formed its council in the Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) after the victory in February 6 polls.
Picked from among four hopefuls by party supremo Naveen Patnaik, Anita was elected unopposed. The Corporator from Ward 21 has become the second woman Mayor of Cuttack after Nibedita Pradhan who held the post from 2003 to 2008.
The debutante Corporator and first time politician, however, did not appear to be overwhelmed by her elevation to the top post. Immediately after announcement of her election, Anita got down to set her priorities.
“Improving sanitation, repair and renovation of roads as well as combating the mosquito menace would be top on agenda. We will strive to provide an efficient, responsive and transparent civic administration,” she said.
Drainage and sanitation are the most pressing problems in the city. Emphasis would be on improving sanitation by not only ensuring effective work plans but also making officials and agencies accountable for their proper and timely execution. Roads will be repaired and renovated at the earliest, she said while outlining her immediate agenda.
Anita, who has Plus-II qualification, made it to the top post on the basis of the Mayor being reserved for SC Woman this year. She was chosen among four eligible Corporators including Sulochana Sethi from Ward 39, Meenakshi Behera from Ward 45 and Mamata Behera from Ward 51. She had won from Ward 21 beating her nearest BJP rival by 572 votes.
She is the lone eligible candidate from Cuttack-Barabati Assembly constituency and her selection is seen as a reward for the performance of BJD in the segment. The BJD won 21 of the 31 Wards under Cuttack-Barabati constituency represented by MLA Debasish Samantray.
The election was conducted by Director of Municipal Administration Sanjib Mishra.
The BJD retained CMC winning 36 of the 59 Wards while Congress and BJP won nine and four Wards respectively. As many as 10 Independents have been elected, most of whom are BJD rebels.