PARADIP: Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS), the anti-Posco outfit, suffered a major setback on Monday following loss of its naib sarpanch candidate to the nominee of pro-Posco group.
The sarpanch and panchayat samiti member candidates of PPSS were also defeated in elections held earlier this month.
Election Officer of Erasama block Subodh Acharya conducted the election of naib sarpanch for Dhinkia panchayat in which pro-Posco outfit candidate Shantilata Behera backed by ruling BJD party defeated PPSS nominee backed by CPI Shantilata Das.
The defeat of PPSS candidates in the ensuing Dhinkia panchayat election has brought severe embarrassment to the anti-Posco activists.
Of 24 votes polled, Behera bagged 14 which comprised 13 of Ward members and one of sarpanch while 10 Ward members voted in favour of Das. The clean sweep by pro-Posco candidates in the elections in Dhinkia, an anti-Posco stronghold has given a major blow to PPSS activists. On July 2, pro-Posco candidate backed by BJD Salila Nayak had won the sarpanch seat by defeating her rival PPSS candidate Mamata Dei. Nayak received 2263 votes while Dei bagged 1864.
In 2012 panchayat elections, candidates of pro-Posco outfit won the seats of naib sarpanch, sarpanch and panchayat samiti member.
Newly elected sarpanch Salila Nayak said, “It is a great opportunity for the elected representatives to expedite different development works in the panchayat with the cooperation of the villagers. Victory of pro-Posco candidates would help expedite Posco work in the region.”