ULBs poll differed issue: Odisha Govt to appoint administrators in nine western Odisha districts

The 25 urban local bodies (ULBs) in the nine western Odisha districts are all set to get Administrators for executing the day-to-day administration as the terms of office of the ULB councils would expire on September 19 next without any elected bodies.

“Since in the absence of any elected councils after the expiry of the five-year terms on September 19, the State Election Commission (SEC) will recommend to the State Government under the Article 243 ZA of the Constitution of India and Odisha Municipal Act, 1950 to post Administrators to manage the affairs in these ULBs where the election process was affected due to law and order situation,” said State Election Commissioner Ajit Kumar Tripathy on Friday.

The election process in the 25 ULBs was stopped due to a bandh called by the Central Action Committee of lawyers of nine western Odisha districts and supported by all political parties on the demand for establishment of a permanent High Court Bench in the region.

Meanwhile, the SEC has postponed the elections to the 25 ULBs in the nine districts Sambalpur, Subarnapur, Jharsuguda, Deograh, Baragrah, Balangir, Kalahandi, Nuapada and Sundargarah on the reports from concerned District Magistrates. The SEC on Friday also withdrew the operation of the Model Code of Conduct enforced in the 25 ULBs.

Congress spokesperson Narasingha Mishra said the Government has failed to act under the Constitution to hold the election to the 25 ULBs, for which there is a Constitutional breakdown. BJP leader Biswa Bhushan Harichandan alleged that such an incompetent Government was never seen in the State. Health Minister Damodar Rout questioned the lawyers’ movement to stop the ULB elections in western Odisha. “Is the movement Constitutional, he asked.

According to SEC sources, as many as 36 of the total 3,492 candidates in the fray for the rest 66 ULBs spread over 20 districts going to polls on September 19 elected uncontested with a majority of them being ruling BJD candidates.

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