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BJD, BJP Lodge Complaints Against Each Other With Odisha CEO Also On Phase-IV Polling Day


29 April 2019

Debashish Maharana


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Bhubaneswar: As had been in the previous three phases of polling in Odisha during the ongoing general elections (voting for both the 21 Lok Sabha and 146 Lok Sabha seats), today’s the final polling day also witnessed Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) being flooded with complaints.

The main political rivals, ruling BJD and opposition BJP, lodged complaints today against each other and demanded immediate actions.

BJD today filed six petitions with the CEO by 1 pm with videographic evidence in pen drive.

As it had been a ‘silence period’ owing to ongoing poll process for the day, BJD spokespersons Sulata Deo, Lenin Mohanty and Sasmit Patra refused to give any media bytes while put forth their complaints in shape of press note.

As per the BJD complaints, “Campaigning voice calls from BJP were being made from a specified number despite being the ban period. Violation of Model Code of Conduct by Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan for tweeting and soliciting votes for BJP during the ban period. Violation of Model Code of Conduct by Baijayant Panda for giving media byte in the ban period.”

BJD claimed to have provided the CEO with the screenshot of the objectionable tweet of Dharmendra Pradhan. It also complained against a senior reporter of an Odisha news channel claimed to be owned by BJP’s Kendrapada MP candidate Baijayant Panda and demanded expulsion of the news reporter from Kendrapada Parliamentary Constituency (PC) alleging that he was campaigning and inducing voters for Baijayant Panda. BJD referred a petition filed by the voters of Kendrapada Assembly Constituency (AC) with the Odisha CEO.  

BJD also in its complaint demanded before the CEO to expel the 10-12 teams of the Odia news channel from Kendrapada AC alleging that they were inducing the voters there and campaigning for their employer Baijayant Panda.

BJD also demanded action against the Odia news channel alleging that it was “telecasting biased and malicious intent behind telecasting only their owner's and BJP's news today.”

BJD also complained before the CEO that false news was being telecast by the specific Odia news channel that was igniting unhealthy arguments.

“Rather the video provided to CEO exposes that it was Baijayant Panda’s supporters who assaulted a youth,” the BJD petition further alleged.

On the contrary, Odisha BJP vice-president Samir Mohanty alleged, “Apprehensive of defeat in the fourth phase of polling, BJD has turned violent and furious, especially in the Kendrapada Parliamentary Constituency. The Assembly Constituencies are Aul, Mahanga and Salipur. The BJD candidates and their supporters are attacking the BJP workers there.”

He also alleged, “Similarly, such incidence has been marked in Dharmashala, Bari and Binjharpur Assembly Constituencies under the Jajpur Parliamentary Constituency. Murderous attack has been made on the BJP workers and the polling agents have been shunted out of the booths. In Moroda Assembly Constituency under Mayurbhanj Parliamentary Constituency, the BJD leaders are influencing the voters there inside the booths by distributing money. The picture has come to the fore.”    

“Thousands of government servants engaged in the polling process have been deprived of postal ballot. Their fault is that they used to cast for lotus symbol which was caught on CCTV camera. Hence, we have apprised the CEO today and demanded that those employees should be allowed soon postal ballot for their voting right within the polling process today,” the BJP leader said.

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Samir Mohanty, Vice-President, BJP, Odisha