Berhampur: The refusal of objections against the decision to reserve the mayor post for only women in Berhampur Municipal Corporation (BeMC) in the upcoming urban local body (ULB) polls might spell trouble for the ruling BJD.
This has created many rebels in the party. Hopes of those aspiring to contest for the post have vanished into thin air. They had wanted keep the post unreserved, a report said.
The post of mayor has been reserved for only female candidates in Berhampur Municipal Corporation. The state urban development department had issued a draft notification in this regard, January 12.
This time, the mayor will not be picked up by corporators. People will directly elect one. This has recurred after a gap of 30 years.
Some male aspirants of the ruling and other parties had objected to such reservation and challenged the draft notification on the ground that the post of mayor had been reserved for women in the 2013 elections.
However, the urban development department rejected the pleas and upheld its earlier decision in a notification published January 28.
The rejection of pleas has disappointed many male aspirants of various political parties who were expecting to get a ticket for the post to contest in the election.
However, this decision has rather left more male aspirants of the ruling BJD fuming. The fresh notification has angered them so much that they are openly venting out their displeasure before the party MPs, MLAs and district unit president.
Observers apprehend that if the party leaders do not placate the disgruntled leaders in time, then they might play spoilsport for the party nominee in the upcoming elections.
Meanwhile, many aspiring women leaders of the ruling party have started lobbying to get the party ticket as a mayor candidate.
Among the prominent faces in the race for party ticket are Sanghamitra Dalai, BJD’s district women’s wing president, Mamata Bisoi, president of the zone comprising four districts in south Odisha, K Madhavi, former mayor, Jyotshna Nayak, deputy mayor, Sonali Gantayat, BJD’s City women’s wing president and several other women leaders.
All of them are well educated and keep their fingers crossed for ticket. Earlier, there used to be indirect election for the post of chairperson in this 155-year old civic body.
The first direct election for the post of chairperson was held in 1992 when the Janata Dal government headed by Biju Patnaik was in power in the state.