Cross-voting leaves Congress red-faced - The New Indian Express

Cross-voting leaves Congress red-faced

Published: 01st October 2013 12:51 PM

Last Updated: 01st October 2013 12:51 PM

BJD councillor Alok Kumar Sahu was elected the Chairman of the 137-year-old Balasore Municipality on Monday.

Sahu from BJD and Padma Lochan Lenka from Congress had filed nominations in the election. Sahu got 27 votes out of total 31 in his favour while Lenka polled four. Though Congress was sure of a possible defeat, crossing-voting by the party councillors has left the leadership red-faced.

Of 31 seats, BJD had won 17, Congress six, BJP one and Independents seven. Later, three Independent councillors joined BJD in the presence of party chief Naveen Patnaik.

After the election, an elated Sahu said he would work for the all-round development of Balasore town.

Besides Sahu, three councillors, including two from BJD - outgoing chairperson Sujata Das and Chandra Sekhar Patra (Ward-3) - and one Independent councillor Swarup Kumar Das (Ward-5) were in the race for the post reserved for OBC candidate.

Though none could specify which Congress councillors might have voted in favour of BJD, a reliable source said apart from his own vote, two Congress councillors and one Independent councillor voted for Lenka. 

District Congress Committee president Padma Lochan Panda said he had asked the Town Congress president to submit a report about the cross-voting following which disciplinary action would be taken against the errant councillors.

There was an interesting fight in 19-Ward Soro NAC. Though initially one each from Congress, BJD and BJP had filed  nominations, Congress candidate Subhasmita Mohanty won the election with eight votes.

In the first phase voting while Mohanty got eight votes, BJP candidate Ritanjali Mohapatra and BJD’s Urmila Rout got five each. BJP councillor Runubala Prusty, who was an aspirant, did not cast her vote as she was denied party nomination.

There was a toss between BJP and BJD as they shared equal votes and this time Mohapatra came out successful. In the second round poll, all the BJD councillors abstained from voting and Mohanty was declared Chairperson with eight votes.

In Jaleswar, Subhasini Singh of Congress was elected uncontested. Here, Congress had won 12 seats out of 17. In Nilagiri, BJD’s Radha Gobinda Khatua was elected the Chairman.

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