Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 17:
Taking strong exception to the full page advertisements in newspapers by the ruling Biju Janata Dal on the day of voting today using Biju patnaik’s death anniversary as the pretext, Odisha Jan Morcha president and former Odisha chief electoral officer Pyarimohan Mohapatra dashed off a letter this evening to the CEO Dr Mona Sharma demanding “drastic punishment, namely, invalidating the result of their candidates in the second phase”.
A copy of the letter has also been sent to the Chief Election Commissioner of India VS Sampath.
In his letter, Mohapatra said, “Yesterday (16.4.2014) we filed a complaint before you against Biju Janata Dal for publishing full front page advertisements in the morning papers to influence voters at a time when campaigning had come to an end at 5.00 pm on 15.4.2014. We do hope that action has been initiated by you. To our surprise, we find that in this morning’s news papers full front page advertisements giving the photograph of late Biju Patnaik purportedly on his death anniversary have been published to influence voters. We do not recollect a single occasion in the past 17 years that on the death anniversary of late Biju Babu, the Biju Janata Dal had issued any such full page advertisement. The reason this time for such huge advertisement is obvious.”
Expressing displeasure over the manner in which the ruling party has been defying the model code so far, Mohapatra said, “Mere issue of notice to the BJD has not deterred them from flagrantly violating the model code of conduct and norms and guidelines for campaigning. Repeated violations of this nature even on the poll day should call for drastic punishment, namely, invalidating the result of the candidates in the second phase. We do hope that you will initiate suitable action and set an example.”