Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Dhinkia(Jagatsinghpur, July 3:
The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) supported sarpanch candidate has won in the panchayat polls in Dhinkia gram panchayat in Odisha’s Jagatsinghpur district,considered to have been the citadel of the nine-year-old anti-Posco agitation.
The polling took place on Wednesday.
While out of 23 wards in the panchayat 11 persons were elected unopposed in their wards, 28 candidates had contested the arest 12 wards there were 28 candidates in the race.
Out of 4,125 votes polled, 2,263 went to the BJD-supported sarpanch candidate Salila Nayak while the Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS)-backed candidate Mamata Dei could muster only 1862 votes.
While the Posco supporters said the people have given their mandate in favour of the project by voting for Salila Nayak, the PPSS dismissed the claims saying, the sarpanch election will have little impact on the anti- Posco agitation. The PPSS leaders also alleged that the ruling party resorted to unethical practices to get its candidate elected as sarpanch.
The newly elected lady sarpanch said she would support early start of the project work to bring economic development in the area.
The polling, which was low in the morning due to rains gained momentum later in the day and recorded nearly 90 percent polling, said Subodh Acharya, BDO Ersama and Election officer.
Polling was peaceful and no untoward incident was reported during polling, said Madhabananda Sahu, additional SP Paradip. Three platoons of police and three mobile squads were deployed in the area.
The peaceful polling was possible largely due to the fact that both pro and anti-Posco villagers in Dhinkia are now at peace with ach other after the return of 52 families to the village from Badagabapur transit camp.