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Odisha by-election: Poll code violation notice on BJD candidate

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Phulbani, Oct 3:

The returning officer and collector Kandhamal has issued a show cause notice to BJD candidate Pratyusha Rajeswari Singh for alleged violation of the model code for the October 15 bypoll for Kandhamal Lok Sabha seat in Odisha. The returning officer has ordered the BJD candidate to file her response on the alleged violation at the earliest.

Pratyusha Rajeswari Singh ( pic-Biswaranjan Mishra)
Pratyusha Rajeswari Singh ( pic-Biswaranjan Mishra)

This is the second time the ruling party has been accused of violating the model code of conduct. Earlier, Health minister Atanu Sabyasachi had been charged with the poll code violation.

The returning officer slapped the show cause on Pratyusha on an allegation made by the BJP that the ruling party had held a poll meeting at the aerodrome field here without having the necessary permission from the district administration for it. The meeting was attended by Transport and Commerce minister Ramesh Majhi, BJD MLA Pramila Mallick, former MLA Debendra Kanhar and several other leaders of the party.

BJP has accused the BJD of adopting unfair means and methods to win the elections.

“Biju Janata Dal has neither any regards for the rule of the land nor has it any knowledge of it. It knows and uses every trick to win elections at any cost by hook or crook,” said Rudra Madhab Ray, the BJP candidate for the Kandhamal Lok Sabha seat.

Ray, who was elected BJD MP from Kandhamal in the 2009 elections,  was denied a BJD ticket in the last elections and was suspended from party for ‘anti-party activities’ during the 2014 polls. He joined the BJP on September 21 this year.

The BJD, on the other hand, has refuted the allegations saying it was not a party meeting.

“No, it was by no means a party meeting. There were no posters nor any party flags. It was just a family get together kind of thing,” said Debendra Kanhar from the BJD.

Saroj Karna, Kandhamal district president of the BJD said; “The BJD has held no poll meeting there. It was in no way a convention. The mothers and aunts of the village had invited us to a family get together. Should we not participate when the general public asks us to take part in a get together? I can firmly say there was no poll code violation by the BJD.”

Earlier, an FIR had been lodged at the Phulbani town police station against Health Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak by district general secretary of the BJP Debanarayan Pradhan for alleged violation of model code of conduct.

Pradhan had alleged that at a meeting held at Kotagarh under Balliguda Assembly constituency on September 30, Nayak said the BJD is in power in the state and the government officials and police who will be conducting the bypoll in Kandhamal, are working under the instruction of the party in power (BJD).

The minister had also allegedly said the BJD workers need not worry about anything and must ensure victory of the party at any cost.

These statements violate model code of conduct, Pradhan had claimed in his FIR.