Bhubaneswar, Nov 21:
Dubbing Finance Minister Prasanna Acharya’s threat to deny funds to areas which don’t vote for the ruling party in the coming ULB elections in western Odisha as ‘unconstitutional’ and ‘malafide’, the state Congress today demanded setting aside of the entire election process or the sacking of the minister. The statement by the minister was a gross violation of the model code of conduct in force for the elections, it said.
“The speech of the Hon’ble Finance Minister (was) delivered in the last election meeting so cleverly that other party has no scope to reply (to) his speech, which is highly unconstitutional, malafide and illegal, which violates the code of conduct of the election. The entire election is liable to be set aside or the minister should be sacked and punishment may be awarded by forwarding the case to proper court of law under Indian Penal Code in the interest of justice,” said a Congress memorandum submitted to the state election commission (SEC) on Thursday.
It also urged the SEC to immedaitely initiate proceedings against the Finance Minister as per the election law.
It is to be noted that the BJD Minister had threatened to choke funds to areas that don’t vote for the BJD during a meeting at Bargarh in poll bound western Odisha last Sunday.
“I am Odisha’s Finance minister. Funds are in my hands. If you vote for Congress, I shall stop the release of funds to your area. I have told people everywhere, if you vote for the ‘Hand’, symbol my treasury is locked for you”, the Finance Minister had said.