His was the only nomination received during the stipulated time
Ghosh won the ward number 21 by defeating Prakash Kumar Baral of BJP
The margin of victory was 1,434 votes in a six-corner contest
CUTTACK: Lawyer-turned-politician Soumendra Kumar Ghosh on Friday became the new Mayor of prestigious Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC).
The 45-year-old BJD corporator was elected unopposed to the coveted post as his was the only nomination received during the stipulated time by the Municipal Administration Director Rabi Ranjan Mallick who conducted the elections here at CMC office. Ghosh had filed four sets of papers and were found valid after scrutiny.
The election of Ghosh had become a mere formality after the BJD President and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced his name for the post on Thursday. BJD has won 37 seats in the 54-ward Council.
Naveen’s announcement was so imposing that not a single party corporator murmured or had the nerve to challenge even as Ghosh was chosen for the top CMC post being a first-timer.
Not only that, even the city BJD chief and former deputy mayor Madhu Sahu, who was a frontrunner for the post of mayor was made to propose the name of Ghosh for the post in demand and another senior party leader Pradeep Khuntia—also an aspirant for the top post—had to second the proposal. BJD legislators Arun Sahu, Pravat Biswal, Pratap Jena and party leader Jugal Naik were present on the occasion to ensure that the election of Ghosh as mayor goes off hassle-free.
After the official confirmation, MLA Arun Sahu was the first to congratulate Ghosh addressing him as mayor amid cheers and jubilation among party supporters, including the newly elected BJD corporators.
Earlier in the day, all the 54 elected corporators were felicitated by the CMC commissioner R.K. Kar who also administered the oath of office to them in the conference hall of the CMC.
After assuming charge as Mayor, Ghosh told the waiting media persons that he would work sincerely for the development of the city.
Profusely thanking Naveen Patnaik for reposing faith on him, the new mayor announced that he would make the appropriate demands before the Chief Minister towards some basic but inherent problems of the city. Ghosh won from the same ward number 21 which was earlier represented by the former mayor Nibedita Pradhan from 2003-08. This time, in absence of Pradhan in the fray, Ghosh defeated Prakash Kumar Baral of BJP by a margin of 1,434 votes in a six-corner contest. While Ghosh had polled 2,552 votes, the BJP candidate had polled 1,118 votes.
While the BJD corporators were basking at glory after forming the new council of CMC on Friday, the opposition Congress party protested by holding demonstrations in front of the district magistrate’s office alleging that the ruling party had won the CMC polls resorting to use of “black money” and “tampering” the electronic voting machines (EVMs).