Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Nov 26:
The Odisha Cabinet today approved a proposal to amend provisions in the law to include anti-defection measures in urban local bodies and zilla parishads.
The Cabinet approved amendments to the Odisha Municipal Corporation Act, 2003, Odisha Municipal Act, 1950, and Odisha Zilla Parishad Act, 1991, to introduce anti-defection provisions to disqualify members, including Independents, who switched political alliances after getting elected and to ensure reservation for women in district planning committees.
“Earlier there was no provision in case of a defection. Now, the Cabinet has approved amendments and it will be sent to the Assembly for its approval. We are inserting sub-sections in section 33 of the Odisha Zilla Parishad Act. The sub-sections are 33(b), 33(c), 33 (d) and 33(iv). The four sub-sections will be inserted. According to the proposed amendment a person winning elections as a candidate of a particular party on voluntarily resigning from that party will lose his membership. Secondly, if a member votes against the directions or decision of his/her political party, then the elected person will lose the membership. Thirdly, if an independent candidate hops to another party after winning the polls, then also he will lose his membership. However, the state election commission (SEC) would decide on who would be the authority to take a final call on the disqualification of the member,” said Deo Ranjan Singh, secretary Panchayati Raj department while briefing reporters here today after the Cabinet meeting.
The government also approved amendment to the Odisha District Planning Committee Act, 1998, that would enable 50 percent reservation for women among elected members in the district planning committees (DPCs).
As many as 80 percent DPC members are elected from among zilla parishad members and councillors/corporators of municipalities, notified area committees and municipal corporations. The remaining are nominated by the government.
The amendment also provides for a minister or an MLA from the district to be nominated as chairman of DPC to facilitate timely conduct of meetings.