Bhubaneswar: The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has formed Zilla Parishads in all the districts of Odisha. This is the first time in the history of Odisha that a single party has formed ZPs in all the districts in the state.
This is an unprecedented victory for the conch party and the result of the immense faith of the voters in the strong leadership of party supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. Trying to deliver on people’s expectations, Patnaik has chosen young, educated, and talented party workers as Zilla Parishad Presidents.
As many as 15 of the 30 districts (50%) have Zilla Parishad President below the age of 40 years. 23 of the 30 districts (76%) have ZP Presidents below age 50 years. The average age of all the ZP Presidents put together is 41 years only.
In terms of Higher educational qualifications, 18 ZP Presidents have completed graduation, while 26 of the 30 district ZP Presidents have completed at least +2 level education.
The BJD supremo has chosen 21 women as the Zilla Parishad Presidents, that’s 70% of total seats, even though the women reservation is 50% statutorily. This is the first time that such large number of women are heading the districts in Odisha and probably, anywhere else in the country. The larger districts of Mayurbhanj, Ganjam, Keonjhar, Sundargarh, Bolangir, Sambalpur and districts of Undivided Koraput (except Nawrangpur) are headed by Women Zilla Parishad Presidents.
Out of 18 Unreserved seats (including Women), 12 OBC candidates (67%) have been made Zilla Parishad President. This is in line with the commitment of the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik giving preference to OBC candidates. In his own home district of Ganjam, Patnaik has selected an OBC women candidate as the Zilla Parishad President.