Bhubaneswar, Dec 18:
A day after the state election commission (SEC) indicted BJD vice-president and Finance Minister Prasanna Acharya for violation of poll code then in force during the urban body elections in western Odisha, both the opposition parties BJP and Congress today demanded his resignation to uphold the best traditions of democracy.
The parties also did not forget to nail the SEC for letting the Minister off the hook with a mere caution.
“Prasanna Acharya should immediately resign from his post for violating the model code during elections in western Odisha. The statement of the Finance minister comes under criminal intimidation and violated the Representation of Peoples’ Act,” said Congress legislative party chief-whip Prasad Harichandan at a press conference here.
He also came down heavily on the SEC for not taking any action against the Finance Minister even after holding him guilty of o=poll code violation.
The SEC’s move has not gone down well with the BJP either. The party has termed it as a ‘toothless’ commission meant only to act as an advisor to the ruling party.
Demanding the resignation of Acharya as Finance Minister, BJP leader Sajjan Sharma said the impression had gained ground among the people that the Commission, instead of using the powers bestowed on it by the constitution, was acting at the behest of the ruling party.
“While the election commission is a statutory constitutional body designed to uphold the principles of democracy, the irony is that it is working as an advisor of the ruling party,” said Sharma.
It is to be noted that Acharya had threatened the western Odisha people to lock up the state coffers for the area if BJD was not voted during the recently concluded elections to ULBs in western Odisha. The SEC found him guilty of violation of poll code, but let him off with a mild warning.