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General Elections-2019: ECI Team Holds Talks With Odisha Political Parties

14 February 2019

Debashish Maharana

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Bhubaneswar: In view of the upcoming general elections, a 6-member team of the Election Commission of India (ECI) today held discussions with the political parties in Odisha, especially with the representatives of Odisha units of Congress, BJP, BJD and CPI.

While senior MLA Narasingha Mishra led the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) delegation, senior BJP leader Bhrugu Baxipatra headed the State unit of BJP and BJD IT Cell head Amar Patnaik and party spokesperson Sasmit Patra represented the ruling BJD.

In his media reactions, senior Congress leader Narasingha Mishra said, “We demanded for a free and fair election and also suggested that all should be made aware of the use of EVM. They have agreed. Training will be imparted they assured. We also suggested that all the rules and regulations as well as the model code of conduct should be strictly observed.”

BJP leader Brugu Baxipatra told media, “We drew the attention of the Election Commission team about the anticipated misuse of power and government machinery by the ruling BJD. Earlier we had heard about sensitive booths in Maoist-affected areas. But, a lion’s share of the booths in Odisha has turned to be sensitive. We hope the Election Commission will take appropriate action.”

BJD leader Amar Patnaik told media, “The responsibility of the Election Commission is to conduct free and fair election in the State as well as in the whole country. Hence, we drew the attention of the Election Commission to the Bijepur bye-election incidents in the past and urged that such violent incidents shouldn’t reoccur. We also apprised about the hands of those BJP leaders behind the violent incidents.”

“We also urged the Election Commission to pay attention to the anticipated communal tension or violence created during the election at certain places. Such attempts should be stopped. We also demanded that the expenditure of the star campaigners and non-star campaigners should be added to the candidate’s election expenditure not to the party’s expenditure,” he informed.

Notably, the Election Commission of India’s 6-member team led by Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa arrived Odisha last night (February 13). The team will be here in the State till tomorrow (February 15), as per the State Chief Electoral Office (CEO) sources.

The other members of the team are Chandra Bhushan Kumar, Deputy Election Commissioner, D K Sharma, DG Expenditure, Sheyphali Saran, ADG PIB, Nikhil Kumar, Director and Rakesh Kumar, Secretary.

The CEO, Odisha sources also informed that the team will hold a press meet tomorrow (15th February).

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Narasingha Mishra, Senior Congress Leader, Odisha

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Bhrugu Baxipatra, Senior BJP Leader, Odisha

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Amar Patnaik, Senior BJD Leader

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Narayan Reddy, Senior CPI Leader, Odisha