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BJD & BJP Meet Odisha CEO, File Complaints Against Each Other Over Model Code Violations, Allege Inaction


18 April 2019

Snigdha Chandan Das


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Bhubaneswar: While the Phase-II polling was underway in the slated five parliamentary constituencies and 35 assembly segments under them in the State here, Odisha’s ruling BJD and its contender BJP today moved the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) with complaints against each other alleging violations of Model Code of Conduct (MCC).   

BJD lodged three complaints comprising allegations against OTV news channel “as a repeat offender continues to air Paid News for Bharatiya Janata Party but no action taken by Election Commission”, “No action on hoardings flouting Model Code of Conduct violation by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) despite filed on cVIGIL ID: 337257” and “Pratisruti Patra by BJP being circulated in Sambalpur slum areas assuring voters to provide Land Pattas after elections violating Model Code of Conduct.”

As per the BJD petition, “We have submitted numerous complaints on OTV being a repeat offender for airing Paid News for Bharatiya Janata Party and colouring its discussions to suit the BJP and its discussions since this morning on its channel is also tilted to discussing only ‘Parivartan’, which is the buzz word of the BJP, on a day when polling for the second phase is going on.”

“Despite our complaints, it seems OTV will continue to violate the Election Guidelines with abundant contempt but no action is taken against it. This is unfortunate and shows the Election process of the state rather badly,” BJD has alleged.

On the hoardings flouting Model Code of Conduct violation by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) despite filed on cVIGIL ID: 337257, BJD has complained, “This is to bring to your kind notice that despite we having filed on cVIGIL ID: 337257 (Enclosed is the Receipt copy) on hoardings flouting Model Code of Conduct violation by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), action is not being taken.”

BJD argues, “Further, this is to inform you that several hoardings including the surrogate advertising hoardings of the BJP led Centre including those of PSUs are still on display and no action has been undertaken. Even in places relating to Airport Authority, illegally hoardings are being erected when Central BJP leaders are arriving in Bhubaneswar. We hope that strong and immediate action is taken in this regard.”

Another complaint filed by the BJD states, “This is to bring to your kind notice that the Bharatiya Janata Party is circulating promissory forms named as ‘Pratisruti Patra’ in Sambalpur slum areas assuring voters to provide Land Pattas after elections with a malicious intent to hoodwink the voters of Odisha and at the same time blatantly violating the Model Code of Conduct for the Elections 2019,” arguing, “Please find enclosed with this petition, a copy each of the BJP's Pratisruti Patra. In both these forms, promises for fulfillment are made which is outside the purview of the Manifesto and its guidelines laid by the Election Commission of India.”

It further states, “In the BJP's Pratisruti Patra, promissory forms are being circulated where the BJP promises to provide ‘Pucca Ghar’ and ‘Land Pattas’ and people are filling in for their personal details in anticipation of getting them despite the fact that such aspects can either be mentioned in Manifestos but never be collected in person from voters during or even prior to elections. The BJP is guilty of doing both.”

“We had communicated this earlier being done in different places in Odisha but no action was taken against this. We urge to kindly intervene urgently in this matter and take serious and exemplary action against the BJP for violating the Model Code of Conduct and issuing receipts and promissory forms which are a flagrant violation of ethical standards of an election, even when they are not in power in the State and their coming to power seems an impossibility,” the BJD petition mentions.

All the three petitions have been signed by BJD spokespersons Sulata Deo, Lenin Mohanty and Sasmit Patra.

In her media reactions, BJD spokesperson Sulata Deo said, “We met the CEO and submitted whatever complaints we have. As the ‘silence period’ is on, we can flout the rule and speak out. We honour the Constitution and Law of the Land. If one breaches the law, how can we commit so? The entire people of Odisha love BJD as we have never broken law and won’t do it ever.”

On the other hand, Odisha BJP vice-president Samir Mohanty complained, “A BJP worker named Santosh Pati of Soroda constituency was murdered. Another BJP worker Sadananda Behera of Bhanjanagar was also murdered in the early morning. Earlier Manguli Jena of Khurda, Congress Nayak of Aska and today murderous attack was made on MLA Radharani Panda during polling. While protecting her, the PSO was also severely attacked. When such violent activities take under the nose CEO and the BJP agents are being attacked in the booths of the Chief Minister’s district Ganjam, it is a matter of grave concerns.”

“Today we apprised the CEO of all these matters. CEO is assuring us but actions are not visible. No actions were taken against our previous complaints against the sensitive booths of Phase-I and Phase-II. This puts a question mark on the conduct of free and fair elections in the
State here,” remarked the BJP leader.

On the contrary, Odisha CEO Surendra Kumar reacted, “So far the Soroda case is concerned, main accused has already been arrested. We’re receiving information 24x7 and immediately intervening through the DG contacting the concerned SPs.”

“Everywhere the police are moving around and CAPF mobile parties are also moving around. And, we’re ensuring peaceful, free and fair polls,” assured the CEO.

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Sulata Deo, Spokesperson, BJD

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Samir Mohanty, Vice-President, BJP, Odisha

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Surendra Kumar, CEO, Odisha