Cuttack Mayor Resigns on Moral Ground

Published: 30th December 2015 05:59 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th December 2015 05:59 AM   |  A+A-

CUTTACK: With mounting  protests over inclusion of her  name in the National Food Security Act (NFSA) beneficiary list along with family members, Cuttack Mayor  Anita Behera on Tuesday resigned from her post. Behera, however, reiterated  her innocence and said she had decided to tender resignation from both the posts of  Mayor and Corporator owning moral responsibility for the fiasco that threatened to snowball into a major  controversy and affect the image of BJD. “I am not guilty. My name  has been included in the list without my knowledge and I have myself asked for cancellation. However, I have decided to step down voluntarily  to save my party and our leader Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik from any embarrassment on the issue,” she told mediapersons.

Cuttac.jpgThe decision was apparently taken at a meeting of MLAs from the Millennium City including Cuttack City legislator  Debasish Samantray, Cuttack Choudwar representative Pravat Biswal and Cuttack Sadar MLA Chandrasarathi Behera, who  went into a huddle as the opposition Congress and BJP upped the ante on the  issue. Samantray lauded Behera for offering to step down on her own stating, “It would set an example. As  Mayor, she has been committed to development of the city. She has no involvement in the  matter and her innocence would be proved soon.” Following Behera’s resignation, Deputy Mayor Ajay Barik has been assigned the  charges as Acting Mayor,CMC officials said.

The Mayor had been in the eye of a storm after her name and that of family members  including husband Narendra Behera and two daughters, Rashmita and Sunita, figured  in the list of digitised ration cards. While the  issue created a furore in the Council meeting on Monday, the CMC authorities jumped to  the beleaguered Mayor’s rescue stating that there was no wrong doing on her part.

CMC Commissioner Gyana  Das had submitted a report to Collector NIrmal Chandra Mishra stating that the Mayor had herself asked for cancellation of the digitised ration cards and deletion  of her name from the list when she detected it in mid- December. The names had  been inadvertently included by field officials during verification drives and action had been registered against  them, Das had said. The Opposition Congress was, however,  unrelenting and stated that this gave credence to its allegations of  large scale irregularities in beneficiary identification and enlistment in Cuttack City. On Tuesday, the party  led by City president Md Mokim staged demonstration at the Collectorate and submitted a memorandum to the  Collector seeking Behera’sdismissal. The Congress has  also filed a written complaint with Purighat police demanding criminal action.

On the Mayor’s resignation, Mokim said she had no  other option but to step down. However, the matter does not end here and all irregularities should be probed  thoroughly and action taken against all guilty. The BJP also  staged a demonstration at the CMC office on Tuesday demanding  Behera’s resignation.   


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