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SEC meets Governor; refuses to comment on talks

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OST Bureau

Bhubaneswar, Dec 16:

ajit tripathy

State Election Commissioner (SEC) Ajit Tripahty today met Governor SC Jamir to clarify his stand following allegations by the Congress that he was playing a partisan role in dealing with poll code violation by BJD leaders.

Tripathy, however, declined to comment on what transpired at the meeting.

“I hold a constitutional post and have been appointed by the Governor. I am accountable to the Constitution and constitutional authority, not political parties,” Tripathy had said earlier in his response to the allegation by the opposition party.

It is to be noted that the Governor had summoned Tripathy after a  delegation of the state Congress submitted a petition accusing the SEC of being partisan and acting in favour of the ruling Biju Janata Dal during the recently concluded urban local bodies (ULBs) election.

They had sought the immediate removal of the state election commissioner for allegedly favouring the ruling party and failing to take appropriate action against BJD ministers despite blatant and repeated violation of the model code of conduct.

While the SEC is yet to take any decision on Finance Minister Prasanna Acharya, who had allegedly threatened to lock up the state funds to western Odisha people if Congress was voted in the recently concluded urban polls, the commission had not taken any action against two other senior leaders of BJD Damodar Rout and Rajanikant Singh for alleged violation of model code.

Earlier Congress had brought charges of model code violation by two ministers – Dr Damodar Rout and Rajanikanta Singh. Dr Rout was accused of using beacon light atop his vehicle during electioneering in the first round of ULB polls.

Similarly, Rajanikanta Singh was charged with misuse of his office for election related work. But while a collector was transferred and another official suspended, no action was taken against the ministers.