Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 10:
In yet another indication that money and liquor continue to play an important role in elections notwithstanding the supposedly strict surveillance and monitoring by the Election Commission, cash worth over Rs 50 lakh was seized from two places in Ganjam district alone while reports of seizure of liquor kept pouring in from all over Odisha on Wednesday.
Rs 46, 59, 800 in cash was seized by the flying squad of the police in the presence of Berhampur SP Aniruddha Singh from the residence of S Eraswamy Reddy at Pitatali village under Chikiti Assembly segment in the wee hours of Wednesday. The seizure of BJD flags and leaflets at the place left no doubt whatsoever as to who this huge cash belonged to or what it was meant for.
In another incident in the district – which, incidentally is Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s ‘home’ district – cash worth Rs 4 lakh was seized from a person named Prashanta Bhoi at the Panthanivas at Rambha on Wednesday. Bhoi, who belongs to Cuttack, has been asked to explain the presence of the cash, said Ganjam SP Ashish Singh. If Bhoi fails to account for the money, now kept at the Rambha police station, it would be confiscated, he added.
Reports of distribution of cash – and chicken – have also come in from Raghunathpali Assembly constituency in Sundargarh, where Commerce and Transport minister Subrat Tarai is seeking re-election, on Wednesday evening.
BJP workers reportedly thrashed BJD candidate in the Chilika Assembly seat Raghunath Sahu while he was distributing cash among voters in Odagaon.
Congress candidate in the Boudh Assembly seat Sushant Pradhan and one of his associates were arrested while distributing cash at Kamalpur village under Telibandh panchayat in the constituency.