9 BJD councillors of Keonjhar lose post for defying party whip

BHUBANESWAR: Nine BJD councillors, who had voted in favour of no-trust motion against Keonjhar Municipality chairperson Meena Majhi ignoring party whip, lost their post following the verdict of state election commission (SEC).

The SEC, in its verdict, has disqualified the nine BJD councillors for ignoring party whip under Odisha Municipality Act.

Notably, the Odisha Assembly during the last session approved amendments to the Odisha Municipal Corporation Act, 2003, Odisha Municipal Act, 1950, and Odisha Zila Parishad Act, 1991, to introduce anti-defection provisions to disqualify members, including Independents, who switched political alliances after getting elected.

Chairperson of Kendujhargarh Municipality Meena Majhi had lost in the no-trust motion after 15 councillors voted against her on December 28.

The nine BJD councillors had urged the SEC not to disqualify them citing that they had tendered their resignation before the no-trust motion.

Dillip Behera, one of the councilor said, “As per the said amended provisions of the Odisha Municipal Act, 1950, disqualification is not applicable in our instant case as we, the representing group having not less than two-thirds of BJD members, had moved a no-confidence motion against the chairperson of Keonjhargarh Municipality who belongs to the BJD. We had moved the no-confidence motion before the amended provision came into force with effect from December 19 last year.”