Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Dhenkanal, Oct 13:
In a minor miracle of sorts, BJP councillor Sudhansu Kumar Dalai was today elected the Chairman of Odisha’s Dhenkanal Municipality Corporation even though his party has only 5 members in the 23-member civic body.
Dalai replaces Biju Janata Dal’s Indramani Behera who was forced to resign after she lost the trust vote on August 1.
After a two-month long political power play that ensued following the ouster of Behera, polls were held today to select the new Chairman.
While Dalai filed his candidature from BJP, Congress councillor Rudrant Dalei resigned from his party to contest as an independent candidate. Even though there were reports of as many as 8 of the 11 Congress councilors resigning from the party, the information could not be independently verified.
Only 18 out of 23 councillors voted today and the result was a tie with nine votes to each candidates. Dalai was announced the winner based on a draw of lots. In the 23-member municipality, the BJD had just six ward members. The Congress had the majority with 11 members followed by BJP’s five.
It may be mentioned here that the-then Dhenkanal Municipality chairman Indramani Behera lost the trust vote as 17 councillors voted in favour of the ‘no trust motion’ against him on August 1.
Out of 23 councillors, 20 had participated in the motion moved by the Congress which had alleged that Behera had not taken councillors into confidence while taking decisions on various projects. While Congress and BJP had issued whips to their councillors to vote in favour of the motion, the BJD had asked its councillors to abstain from voting on the motion. However, four BJD councillors had taken part in the voting.
“Former Chairman Indramani Behera also came to power based on a draw of lots. It was hard to imagine that the same thing would repeat today. However, I believe, good days for Dhenkanal are here. I will focus on good governance,” said the Chairman-elect.
Dalai is the councilor from ward number 13 of Dhenkanal Municipality.