The Odisha State Election Commission on Monday disqualified nine Biju Janata Dal (BJD) Councillors of Keonjhar Municipality under the provisions of the anti-defection law. These Councillors are Dillip Kumar Behera, Swarnalata Sahu, Prabhati Patnaik, Satrughna Nayak, Sunil Kumar Nayak, Sushree Sangeeta Nanda, Sabita Sethi, Kumudini Nayak, and Kuna Naik.
Violating the party whip the Councilors had voted in favour of a no-confidence motion against Keonjhar municipality chairperson Meena Majhi on December 28, while the BJD supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had asked the Councillors not to attend the no-confidence motion meeting.
The BJD had moved the Election Commission seeking their disqualification under the provisions of the anti-defection law. These councilors had met and urged The Election Commissioner on January 4 not to disqualify them since they had already resigned from the party in January last year, much before the amended law came into force.
The Commission examined the case and pronounced the verdict under section 46(A) 1(b) of the Odisha Municipal Act, 1950. Notably, Meena Majhi was unseated after 15 Councillors, including the nine from BJD, in the 21-member house voted against her.