Jagatsinghpur: Encouraged by smooth conduct of simultaneous Lok Sabha and assembly polls in Dhinkia area, considered the epicentre of anti-Posco movement, Odisha government has initiated steps to hold panchayat elections there, official sources said today.
It has been decided to hold election to Dhinkia gram panchayat on July 3 and model code of conduct for the purpose has been enforced with immediate effect, Block Development Officer (BDO), Ersama, Subodh Chandra Acharya said.
Elections to Dhinkia gram panchayat was last held in 2007. But due to protest by Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS),elections in 13 wards comprising six from Dhinkia and seven from Govindpur villages were countermanded. Repoll for which was held subsequently at Trilochanpur and Sisir Mohapatra,general secretary of PPSS, was elected Sarpanch.
However, due to his active role in PPSS, Mohapatra was removed as sarpanch but his successor was not elected in the stipulated six month period ever since.
Considering the situation in the area, the state government had been maintaining a wait and watch policy even as protests by opponents and as well supporters of Posco took centre stage to press for their various demands.
In the face of protest, panchayat election in Dhinkia was not held during the 2012 panchayat polls in the state. However, apparently after taking into consideration the thaw in the ground situation and support by the people for holding recent twin elections, the state government had taken the initiative, sources said.
People living here have been protesting under the aegis of PPSS against the land acquisition process to build a steel plant, captive power station and port in Erasama block of Jagatsinghpur district by the South Korean corporation.