March 11, 2022
This year’s election to the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) in Odisha is billed to be unprecedented. For the maiden occasion, the coveted post of Mayor of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) is reserved for a lady. The candidate selected for the prized position of Mayor has come as a bit of surprise. The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD), after trouncing opponents BJP and Congress at the panchayat elections, is going for the kill. BJD supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik have fielded journalist turned politician Sulochana Das to slug it out with BJP’s Suniti Mund and Congress’ Madhusmita Acharya.
Sulochana is not a newfangled name. For many years, she has been the spokesperson for the ruling party, actively debating on contentious issues and defending her party from the tarts of the Opposition. She has also served as the Commissioner at the State Commission for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs).
The choice of Sulochana, political observers say, as the Mayor designate is not to rankle many within the BJD camp besides appeasing to the women cohorts. It may be recalled that Naveen’s father Biju Patnaik, the most towering leader Odisha ever produced, was a big votary of women empowerment. He advocated 33 per cent reservation for women in panchayats and ULBs. Naveen went some notches up, scaling up the reservation quota for women to 50 per cent.
The Odisha government has reserved the mayor seat for a woman candidate for the first time in history. The polling for the state’s three municipal corporations and 106 other urban local bodies will be held on March 24.
According to the Odisha Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill 2018, the Mayor will be directly elected by the people and not by the ward councillors, which was the practice earlier. Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh have a direct election system for mayors.
Sulochana, who began her career as a journalist, joined the Congress before joining the Biju Janata Dal. In 2019, the Odisha government-appointed state commissioner for persons with disabilities.
“On such a big day (Biju Babu’s 106th birthday), Naveen Patnaikji has nominated me. I am thankful to the chief minister for showing his faith in me. With the blessing of the people of Bhubaneswar and the co-operation of all the 67 councillors, I would certainly try to make the city number one,” she said.
Sulochana is one of three crorepati candidates who have filed their nominations for the post of Mayor, BMC. It will be a keenly contested battle though the scales are tilted in favour of the BJD. As the next Mayor of Bhubaneswar, a lady augurs well for the denizens and their future.
Team India is all set to play the fifth test match which was postponed last ...
Dalbir Kaur, the brave daughter of India who fought for the justice of his brother ...
Agnipath Scheme Recruitment 2022 Registration: The Air Force recently released a detailed notification that lists ...