Staff Reporter

BERHAMPUR: Kamaraju Sethi of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) was elected unanimously president of the Ganjam Zilla Parishad (ZP) on Wednesday. A meeting of the Ganjam ZP was convened at Chatrapur for the election. Although everyone was sure that a BJD member would be the new ZP president, yet the mystery about the name remained till the filing of nomination. Most BJD ZP members said the decision regarding the choice of Mr. Sethi as the new president was taken by the party high command.

All the BJD MLAs of the district, State Revenue Minister Surya Narayan Patra, State Law Minister Bikram Keshari Arukh were also present at Chatrapur to monitor the whole process. All ZP members of the BJD and the MLAs had got together at Rambha since Tuesday evening to finalise the details of the election of the new president. They did not want the name of the new president to be leaked out before the election process.

Out of the 79 elected members of the Ganjam ZP, 54 attended the meeting called up for the election of the new president. The ZP members of the Congress did not turn up. Similarly the CPI (M) ZP member, P. Harikrushna Reddy, was also not present. The former ZP president, Dharanidhar Sahu, who was removed from the post through a no-confidence motion after his suspension from the BJD was also not present.

Removed from post

Mr. Behera was removed from the post through a no-confidence motion on April 8. Since then the vice-president of the Zilla Parishad, Banita Pradhan, was continuing as the in charge president. Mr Behera was branded as a person who had openly defied the BJD supreme and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in his home district. He had been suspended from the party by Mr Patnaik himself in February. Mr Behera had been arrested following his scuffle with administrative officials at a national-level workshop.