24 September, 2020

Four-Baby Malady!

A yen for a son ends the career of a municipality chairman

Four-Baby Malady!
Surendra Dash may have been elected to the Puri Municipal Council (pmc) four times from Ward No. 28. But in the fatherhood stakes, he is still the "unlucky" father of three daughters. Unfortunately, the desire for a son has almost ended his political career. A recent judgement of the Puri District Election Tribunal led to his dismissal from the chairmanship of the municipal council last week for begetting more than two children, under the 1994 amendment of the Orissa Municipality Act. The judgement, unprecedented in the sense that this is the first time the clause has been invoked against a people's representative of the rank of chairman, has shocked many.

Dash, a member of the ruling Biju Janata Dal (bjd), points out that if the clause was invoked across the board, a majority of zilla parishad members, sarpanches and councillors all over the country would have to vacate their posts. However, the judgement is not without precedent in the state. Puri's public prosecutor, Dillip Chotray, points out at least five cases, including that of a sarpanch, who have been disqualified...


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