Anti-defection law now for Zilla Parishad members in Odisha

The Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has approved the proposal in this regard.

Bhubaneswar: With a view to providing a healthy political environment and better governance of apex local bodies like Zilla Parishad, Odisha government on Thursday decided to introduce anti-defection provision which could disqualify an elected member to switch over from one party to another.

The Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has approved a proposal in this regard by amending Section 33 of the Odisha Zilla Parishad Act, 1991, Chief Secretary G C Pati said.

Under the existing three-tier Panchayati Raj system, election to the Zilla Parishad is held on party lines. The political parties field their candidates for the election to the Parishad with their respective party symbols.

There was no provision on the consequence of defection to other parties after the election. Taking note of this, the state cabinet decided that its approval of the proposal in the incorporation of some provisions relating to defection would be placed in the State Assembly in its next session for approval.

Panchayati Raj secretary Deoranjan Kumar Singh said there will be insertion of sub-section of 33 (b), 33 (c), 33 (d) and 33 (4) in Section 33 of the Anti-defection Act.

"Under the new provision of the Act, if an elected candidate of a political party voluntarily resigns from the party, his/her membership in the Parishad would be cancelled. Besides, if an elected member of the political party works against the wishes of his/her party supremo by casting votes in the election of the president, vice president or standing committee, he/she will cease to qualify as the member," Singh said.

The same provision would also be applicable to an elected Independent member if he/she joins a political party after the election, Singh said adding that the state government would leave the decision of disqualification of zilla parishad members to the State Election Commission (SEC).

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