Bhubaneswar, Sep 10
The State Election Commissioner (SEC) today gave a clean chit to Health minister Damodar Rout over allegations of violation of the model code of conduct during the campaign for the ensuing civic polls.
The SEC clarified that the minister used a private vehicle during the campaign and the red beacon atop the vehicle was not flickering at the time. So, it cannot be termed as violation of the code.
Minister Damodar Rout landed in trouble on Monday after Dhenkanal municipal election officer lodged a complaint with the SEC against the minister for using red beacon during campaign. The officer also alleged that the minister misbehaved with him when he requested him to remove the red beacon from his vehicle.
Meanwhile, the SEC has asked the Jagatsinghpur district collector to furnish a report on the alleged violation of model code of conduct by BJD supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday.
The Chief Minister was reportedly received by government officials and went to the government circuit house in the company of the district collector while he was on campaign trail in the district on Sunday. The BJP had also demanded action against Patnaik for landing his helicopter at the Sri Vivekananda Memorial (VSM) college ground.
However, the SEC clarified that the landing of his helicopter at the SVM College ground in Jagatsinghpur did not constitute violation of the poll code since it was a security imperative.
Earlier, Steel and Mines minister Rajnikant Singh was in the dock after his office sent a fax containing the list of party candidates to the Angul collector’s office. While the Angul collector was immediately transferred, the minister was asked to file an FIR to find out who sent the fax from his office. Police investigation into the case is on.