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Baijayant & Dharmendra Conspiring Through OTV: BJD

13 February 2018

Soumya Ranjan Sahoo

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Bhubaneswar: A day after BJD moved the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) against regional news channel OTV alleging airing of ‘paid news’ in a bid to ‘favour BJP’ in the run-up to Bijepur by-election, the ruling party on Tuesday alleged that its suspended leader Baijayant Panda (Kendrapara MP) and BJP’s Odisha poster boy-cum-Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan are hand in gloves in their ‘conspiracy’ against BJD by using OTV as a tool for the purpose.

BJD vice-president and Food Supplies & Cooperation Minister Surya Narayan Patro and BJD Rajya Sabha member and party spokesperson Pratap Keshari Deb had been to the CEO with the petition against OTV on Monday.

In his media reactions on Tuesday, Deb said, “We’ve mentioned in our petition that after being suspended from the party (BJD), as he (Baijayant Panda) has link with the news channel OTV and OTV is specifically airing paid news, the cost of the paid news must be reflected in the (BJP) candidate’s poll expenditure. Hence, there is no need of the news channel or any person getting perturbed about it. It is said that a conspiracy is being hatched.”

“It was evident yesterday itself. Why did Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan react? He belongs to BJP. Suppose we complained that the MP (Baijayant Panda) has link with the news channel and OTV is showing such news, there was no need of he reacting. Yesterday evening itself the hon’ble Union Minister tweeted. It became crytal clear. What for should he react to it? His reaction proves that our complaint is vindicated. Both (Baijayant Panda and Dharmendra Pradhan) are taking the political activities against BJD in sync with each other. Accordingly, we have apprised the Election Commission. Our allegations will be probed into and if found true, notice will be issued. If found false, no action,” the BJD spokesperson argued.

Surya Narayan Patro informed, “Specifically we have petitioned the Election Commission citing how much share Baijayant Panda owns, and how much Jaggi Mangat Panda owns in OTV. If the Election Commission seeks evidence to corroborate our claim, we’ll submit the proof.”

On the other hand, Odisha BJP spokesperson Sajjan Sharma defended, “BJP will also react to such allegations levelled against any other media. Because, it is the fourth estate of our democracy. BJD is doing all these because the party has become apprehensive of its defeat in the election (Bijepur by-poll). Hence, they are finding a way out in this way.”

Till the filing of this report, no formal reactions of OTV was found posted on its official twitter handle as it had posted a rejoinder on Monday soon after BJD moved the CEO here.

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Pratap Keshari Deb, Spokesperson, BJD

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Surya Narayan Patro, Vice-President, BJD

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Sajjan Sharma, Spokesperson, BJP, Odisha

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