Patkura Poll Schedule Solely EC's Decision & Discretion: Surya Patro Counters Bijay Mohapatra

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Bhubaneswar: Senior BJD leader Surya Narayan Patro today slammed Bijay Mohapatra for politicising Election Commission's decision for shifting of Patkura assembly election dates. It was the election commission which made a ground assessment pre and post cyclone Fani and announced the postponement of Patkura elections, Patra said.

Earlier, Mohapatra had said that it was due to the incorrect assessment and biased feedback of State Government officials, the Election Commission decided to shift the Patkura polls. "Fani has affected Khurda and Puri. The situation in Kendrapada and Patkura is normal, there was no need to shift the elections," the senior BJP leader said.

Mohapatra added that a team of BJP leaders have met the Chief Electoral Officer of Odisha and submitted a memorandum over conducting the Patkura elections as per the schedule which was announced by the Election Commission initially.

On May 6, the Election Commission of India (ECI) had further postponed the polling for Patkura Assembly constituency due to the devastation caused by cyclone 'Fani' in Odisha.

Earlier, the ECI had fixed May 19 as the date of polls for Patkura assembly segment. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik ahead of the cyclone making landfall, had urged the ECI to postpone the polls in view of the cyclone.

Polling in Patkura Assembly seat was initially scheduled on April 29, but it could not be held because of the death of BJD candidate Bed Prakash Agarwal on April 20. Then, the ECI had fixed May 19 as the new date for the polls in Patkura.

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Bijoy Mohapatra, Senior BJP Leader, Odisha

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Surya Narayan Patro, Senior BJD Leader