Bhubaneswar, Oct 2:
Ruling BJD joined hands with erstwhile alliance partner BJP to form the Dhenkanal municipal council despite Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s claims that his party would maintain equi-distance from both Congress and the saffron party.
In reciprocation, BJD candidates supported BJP to form the Barbil notified area council. In both the places, Opposition Congress had emerged as the single largest majority party in the September 19 urban polls.
In Dhenkanal urban local body, Congress candidates had won 11 of the total 23 wards. BJD secured 6 and BJP 5, while Kalinga Sena candidate had won one seat.
The tables turned for Congress when BJD and BJP joined hands, making their figure equal to that of the Congress. The lone Kalinga Sena candidate refrained from voting in the chairman’s elections on September 30.
The election authorities conducted a lottery to settle the issue and fortunately for BJD, its candidate Indramani Behera won the toss.
In Barbil, of the total 15 wards, Congress had bagged seven seats, while ruling BJD had won 5. BJP won in only 2 wards and one ward was won by an Independent candidate.
Reacting to the tie-ups, BJD vice-president Damodar Rout said there might have been some understanding at the urban local body-level but the state leadership of the party was not aware of it.
BJP spokesman Sajan Sharma too claimed that the state leadership had nothing to do with the understanding made with the BJD leaders.
BJD had snapped its nine-year-old electoral tie with BJP prior to the 2009 general elections and Naveen Patnaik had dubbed his erstwhile alliance partner as a communal party. (PTI)