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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 10:

The BJP today moved the Orissa High Court challenging amendment of rule 51 of Odisha Zilla Parishad Election Rules 1994 by the state government.

The party has termed the amendment as illegal and unconstitutional.

Sukhram Munda, a Zilla Parishad (ZP) member of the BJP from Sundargarh district today filed the petition in the High Court challenging the amendment, informed Union Tribal Affairs Minister and Sundargarh BJP MP Jual Oram to reporters here.

“This is undemocratic. We have challenged it in the High Court today. Our Zilla Parishad member from Sundargarh Sukhram Munda has filed a case contending that the state government cannot issue such notification when election process is underway,” Oram said.

The next hearing in the matter has been fixed for March 15.

Notably, as per the notification issued by the Panchayati Raj department, the following rule has been inserted after rule 51 in the Odisha Zilla Parishad Election Rules, 1994:

“51 A. (1) Every political party, whose member as an elector casts a vote for the purpose of election to the office of the President, or as the case may be, the Vice-President, may appoint one authorized agent and the President or the General Secretary of the State Level Political Party /State unit of the National Political Party shall, in writing, inform the same to the Election Officer with full details of the authorized agent proposed to be so engaged for the said election prior to the scheduled date of election.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in Rules 50 and 51, the Election Officer shall, between the period, when an elector being a member of a political party records his vote on a ballot paper and before such elector inserts that ballot paper into the ballot box, allow the authorized agent of that political party to verify as to whom such elector has cast his vote.”