Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, Feb 3:
Former Union Minister and founder of Samata Kranti Dal (SKD) Braja Kishore Tripathy today alleged that the ruling BJD is trying to capture 17 MLAs of opposition parties to ensure the victory of party supported candidate Raghunath Mohapatra in the Rajya Sabha elections creating the ground for horse trading in the polls.
“The ruling party is in talks with 17 MLAs belonging to opposition parties trying to get them to vote for Mohapatra. Eleven of them have already fallen in the trap laid by BJD. The ruling party, which has a habit of encouraging horse trading, is trying hard to ensure the victory of Mohapatra, who can’t win the elections only on Jagannath blessings,” said Tripathy at a press conference here.
Independent MLA from Biramitrapur and SKD president George Tirkey said he will announce his decision on whether to vote or not in the polls after a decision is taken by the party tomorrow. The party will hold its general body meeting on Tuesday.
“I will never cast my vote in favour of BJD. But that does not mean I will support the Congress. A decision on voting in the Rajya Sabha polls will be taken by the SKD party tomorrow,” said Tirkey.
He, however, said that nobody had approached him yet to vote for anyone.
It is to be noted that George Tirkey had alleged horse-trading by the BJD leadership during the 2010 Rajya Sabha elections and had sought an independent probe into the case. He had also filed a petition before Chief Election Commission (CEC) in this regard. The CEC had later asked the Odisha Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) to investigate into the matter.
Earlier, the CEC, taking note of the petition filed by former minister Braja Kishore Tripathy, had asked the state government to register criminal cases against the accused involved in the “illegal act.” The Odisha police had lodged a first information report (FIR) with the Capital Police Station naming two BJD ministers and a member of the state Assembly in a case relating to horse-trading in the 2010 Rajya Sabha elections.
However, the Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate, Bhubaneswar under whose jurisdiction the matter came for adjudication had passed an order on October 6, 2012 dropping the matter.
“The Final Report submitted by the Investigation Officer is accepted and the proceeding is dropped. Considering the above fact, the Commission has decided not to pursue the matter any further,” said a letter by the SEC.
Former union minister Brajakishore Tripathy and others had knocked on the door of the ECI alleging horse-trading in the RS polls. They had even produced before the ECI two CDs in which two ministers – (former) Energy minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak and Labour minister Puspendra Singhdeo – were ‘heard’ finalizing “deals” with some Congress and BJP legislators for their support to the party’s third RS candidate Baishnab Parida.