Cong, BJP demand FM’s resignation over ‘stop funding’ remarks

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Bhubaneswar: Opposition Congress and BJP today demanded resignation of state Finance Minister Prasanna Acharya accusing him of "threatening" voters of "stop funding" to civic bodies if they vote for other parties than the BJD in the ongoing urban local body elections.

Separate delegations of Congress and BJP met the state Election Commissioner A K Tripathy today and submitted memoranda seeking immediate proceeding against Acharya who allegedly violated the model code of conduct.

"I have received written complaints from both the Congress and the BJP. The Commission has asked the district collector of Bargarh district to verify allegation against the Finance minister and report immediately," Tripathy told reporters.

The Commissioner also said he would also seek clarification from Acharya who allegedly threatened voters in Bargarh of "stopping funds" as Finance Minister of the state if they vote any other candidate.

Acharya, on his part, was yet to clarify on the matter as he remained unreachable and his office here denied having any information regarding the matter.

The minister while campaigning for BJD candidates at ward No. 19 of Bargarh Urban Local Body on Sunday had reportedly said, "I am Odisha's Finance minister. Funds are in my hands.

If you vote for Congress I shall lock the funds. I have told people everywhere, if you vote for the 'Hand' symbol my treasury is locked for you."

"The speech of the Finance Minister is highly unconstitutional, malafide and illegal which undoubtedly violates the code of conduct. The entire election is liable to be set aside or the minister should be sacked and punishment may be awarded and the case must be forwarded to proper court of law under the IPC in interest of justice," the memorandum submitted by Congress delegation led by OPCC Vice-President Shivananda Ray said.
 

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