Odisha’s ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) registered victory in Zilla Parishad polls, with the party winning in all 30 districts

Bhubaneswar: Biju Janata Dal (BJD) registered victory in Odisha’s Zilla Parishad polls, with the party winning in all 30 districts.

Saraswarti Majhi, just 23 years old, was selected as the youngest ZP President. A BSc graduate, she will be spearheading the development activities in Rayagada district.

Continuing his focus on the remote areas, Patnaik selected Samari Tangul of Swabhiman Anchal as the Malkangiri ZP President. She is 26 years old and has studied till +2 Arts. Similarly, Saraswati Majhi is also from the remote Kashipur block. Kumudini Nayak in Sambalpur is also from remote Bamra block.

As many as 15 of the 30 districts (50%) have ZP President below the age of 40 yearsand 23 districts (76%) have ZP Presidents below age 50 years. The average age of all the ZP Presidents is 41 years only.

Another important feature in this election is the higher educational qualifications of the selected candidates. While 18 ZP Presidents have completed graduation, 26 ZP Presidents have completed at least +2-level education.

Reposing his faith in the women leadership and the cause of women empowerment, Patnaik chose 21 women as the ZP Presidents (70% of total seats) even though the women reservation is 50% statutorily. This is the first time such a large number of women are heading the districts in Odisha and, probably, unprecedented anywhere else in the country.

The larger districts of Mayurbhanj, Ganjam, Keonjhar, Sundargarh, Balangir, Sambalpur and the districts of undivided Koraput (except Nabrangpur) are headed by women ZP Presidents.

Out of the 18 unreserved seats (including women), 12 OBC candidates (67%) have been made ZP President. This is as per the commitment of the Chief Minister regarding giving preference to OBC candidates. In his own home district of Ganjam, Patnaik has selected an OBC women candidate as the ZP President.




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