13 sitting corporators cannot contest in Cuttack civic poll



Berhampur (Odisha): At least 13 sitting corporators, including the Mayor of Berhampur Municipal Corporation, cannot seek re-election from their own wards in the ensuing urban local body (ULB) elections in Odisha.

Most of the seats have either been reserved for women or Scheduled Caste women after the ward delimitation while the sitting corporators are men.

The number of wards went up from 37 to 40 after the rejig.

Ward No 25, from where Mayor Siba Shankar Dash was elected, is now reserved for women. The other senior corporators, who cannot seek re-election from their own wards are district Congress Committee President Bhagaban Gantayat, Pramod Kumar Jena, K Anil Kumar and Sanghamitra Dalia.

Ward No 33, which elected Gantayat, is reserved for Scheduled Caste (woman). So is Jena's ward No 4. Anil Kumar's ward No 14 is reserved for women, while Sanghamitra's ward No 21 has been set aside for Schedule Caste (woman). However, there is some relief for deputy mayor Sanjukta Samal as her ward No 26 has been reserved for women.

The Congress and BJP are strongly opposed to the delimitation of wards. "The delimitation was carried out to ensure easy victory of ruling BJD candidates," said the Congress town unit President Sanjay Panigrahi. BJP's town unit President Ram Patra echoed similar view and said his party would protest.

President of BJD's district women wing Mamata Bisoi hailed the government's decision to reserve 50 per cent wards for the fair sex. "More women corporators will be elected to the corporation this time. It's a historic step by the government to empower women," she added.

PTI