Election dates out; mind games take centre stage in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: A day after the announcement of poll dates; the BJP and the BJD have started playing mind games. While the BJP moved the Election Commission complaining about how BJD has violated the Model Code of Conduct that came into force with the announcement of election dates, BJD hit back by levelling a more grave charge that Election Commission is being influenced by BJP and deliberately went for a four-phase elections in Odisha.

Earlier today, a BJP delegation met the Chief Electoral Officer of Odisha and complained about hoardings displaying the State Government schemes being not removed, even after the announcement of poll dates and Model Code of Conduct. BJP also alleged that many ration shops still distribute LED bulbs, a government sponsored scheme. The party has sought intervention of the Election Commission.

On the other hand, BJD spokesperson Amar Patnaik targeted the office of Election Commission itself, when he questioned the impartiality of Chief Electoral Officer of Odisha, Surendra Kumar. The BJD spokesperson accused BJP of influencing the CEO here to have a four-phase staggered poll in Odisha. “When Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat with more Parliamentary seats could have a single-phase poll, why not Odisha? Where BJP is weak, polling has been spread out in those states,” claimed Patnaik.

Reacting to the BJP’s allegations on government hoardings, Patnaik said district election officers are aware of the matter and the work of removing the hoardings or covering it is going on in full steam.