Post-ULB politics makes strange bedfellows - The New Indian Express

Post-ULB politics makes strange bedfellows

Published: 01st October 2013 12:41 PM

Last Updated: 01st October 2013 12:41 PM

Politics makes strange bedfellows. And this is what happened during election to the post of chairperson at Udala notified area council (NAC) where the Congress and the BJP joined hands to keep the BJD at bay.

At three other places __ Dhenkanal, Kotpad and Bhadrak __ there was tie between the BJD and the Congress candidates. The post of chairpersons at these places ultimately went to the BJD through lottery. The BJD won the post of chairpersons at 48 ULBs, including the Berhampur Municipal Corporation (BMC), followed by the Congress at 11 places. The BJP tally was two  followed by Independents five.

The chairperson’s post at Udala went to Saubhagya Kumar Sahu, a BJP rebel elected as an Independent, who later returned to his parent party. At Dhenkanal and Kotpad, the Congress had emerged as the single largest party and hoped to form councils. However, both these places went to the BJD.

At Dhenkanal, the BJD and BJP councillors joined hands to foil the Congress design to win the election. A complicated situation developed at Bhadrak where the BJD official candidate had to contend with a rebel candidate. There was cross-voting both ways, from the BJD to Congress and vice-versa. At last, all the three ULBs went to the BJD’s kitty.

Cross-voting was reported from several places, including the BMC and Vyasanagar municipality. Though Congress had won from 15 wards in the BMC, its candidate for chairperson’s post got only 10 votes. Five votes went in favour of the BJD candidate. The Congress fielded a candidate at Berhampur and gave a call for conscience vote, but to no avail.

However, the BJD’s attempts to get the support of the Congress at Angul and Nayagarh failed as both the places elected chairpersons belonging to the Congress. While Angul is the home ground of Minister of State for Steel and Mines Rajani Kanta Singh, Nayagarh falls in the Assembly constituency of Minister of State for Energy Arun Sahu. The Congress drew a blank in Southern districts of Rayagada, Koraput, Nabarangpur and Malkangiri as all the nine ULBs went to the BJD. These included Kotpad, where it had emerged as the single largest party.

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