Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Dec 29:
The Mayor of Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) embroiled in the ration card controversy today resigned from her post owning moral responsibility after the opposition parties targeted her for her name being included in the beneficiary list for subsidised food grains provided under National Food Security Act (NFSA).
In a press conference held at BJD MLA Debasish Samantaray’s residence here this evening, the CMC Mayor Anita Behera announced her resignation from the Mayor and corporator’s post.
“I am not guilty of what has happened. My name has been included in the NFSA beneficiary list without my knowledge for which fingers have been pointed at my party’s supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. It is my decision to resign from the Mayor and corporator’s post to keep the image of the party and its supremo unblemished,” Anita Behera said.
Notably, the second woman Mayor of the city was to complete two years in her office in February next year.
It may be mentioned that the names of Anita Behera, her husband Narendra Behera and her two daughters—Rashmita and Sunita—were found enrolled in the beneficiary list
The BJD leaders–Cuttack Sadar MLA Chandra Sarathi Behera, Cuttack-Choudwar MLA Pravat Ranjan Biswal and Cuttack-Barabati legislator Debasish Samantaray were present during the press conference.
“I thank the Mayor for taking such step. She is still the Mayor. She has done good work in Cuttack. This is an exemplary step and sends a message to the society. She has sacrificed her position for the party. Her innocence will be proved in the coming days,” Debasish Samantaray said after the press conference.
Earlier in the day, the members of youth wing of state unit BJP and city unit of Congress staged demonstrations in the city demanding Behera’s resignation from Mayor’s post.
The BJP activits took out a rally from Gouri Sankar Park here to the CMC office. The protestors shouted slogans and demanded resignation of the Mayor.
The Congress too jumped into the bandwagon in demanding resignation of the beleaguered Mayor. The members of district Congress filed a written complaint with Purighat police demanding stringent action against those involved in the enrolment of Behera in the list. Besides, the Congress activists also staged demonstration in front of the Collector’s office and submitted a memorandum demainding her resignation.
The opposition members alleged that the real beneficiaries were excluded and many well-to-do people owning allegiance to the ruling party were included in the list of ration cards for subsidised food grains.