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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jan 18:

A day after Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan spoke about a large investment due in Odisha’s Dhenkanal, Biju Janata Dal today moved State Election Commission (SEC) against the Minister alleging violation of the model code of conduct.

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A team of BJD leaders led by party General Secretary Debashish Samantaray today approached the SEC alleging that Pradhan’s statement was intended to influence voters before the panchayat polls.

“Addressing a function of Dhenkanal Autonomous College yesterday, union minister Dharmendra Pradhan made announcement of an investment worth Rs 20,000 crore in and around the district to encourage industrial development and create jobs. We believe, this clearly goes against the model code of conduct,” said Samantaray.

“We have received the complaint. Necessary action will be taken after we study the speech,” said an official of SEC after receiving the written complaint.

BJP, however, refuted the allegation.

“That was not a new announcement. MP Rudra Pani had taken the initiatives for the projects earlier. The Minister only spoke about it. That doesn’t violate the model code of conduct. Besides, it is in the interest of the state. I fail to see why BJD is so worried about Dharmendra Pradhan,” said Odisha BJP Vice President Samir Mohanty.