Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 29:
In the Keonjhar Municipality trust vote issue, the BJD councilors who yesterday went against the party whip and voted against Chairperson Meena Majhi bringing her down, today threatened to move to Odisha High Court if the party takes any action against them.
“We had moved the no trust vote even before the anti-defection act came into force. Moreover, we had resigned from the party. How can the anti-defection act apply to us when we were not members of that party! If our councilorship is still taken away, we would approach the High Court,” said Councillor Dillip Behera.
“We had resigned from BJD back on January 24. The resignation letter had been sent to the Party President and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik through fax. If the party moves to SEC (State Election Commission), all of us nine councilors will move to court”, said another rebel councilor Sushree Sangeeta Nanda while producing a copy of the resignation letter before the media.
While the authenticity of the letter could not be independently verified, BJD claimed that it never received the letter.
“We had not received their resignation letter. We are reviewing the case and Party President either himself or through the District President will take necessary action,” said senior BJD leader Anant Das.
“We are going to take up the issue with the SEC. The anti-defection act was in force before December 28. Let the SEC study the case and take the final call,” Urban Development Minister Pushpendra Singh Deo had said earlier in the day.
Notably, out of the 21 member Keonjhar Municipality, 16 members had attended the no-confidence vote yesterday. While one member abstained from the polling, 15 others including nine from the BJD and six from Congress, voted against Majhi to bring her down. The incident occurred even though BJD had issued a whip barring its legislators from attending the polls.