Vikash Sharma

Politics is once again active in Odisha following the Panchayat elections with Opposition parties, including the BJP and the Congress, accusing the ruling BJD of resorting to horse-trading ahead of the elections for the Block head posts.

Senior Congress leader, Santosh Singh Saluja on Thursday alleged that the BJD is indulging in such corrupt practices to show majority in Block chairman elections. The ruling party is offering Rs 5 to Rs 10 lakh to each independent candidate and also candidates backed by BJP and the Congress, he alleged.

“The election for 314 Block chairman posts is scheduled to be held on March 12. The earlier elections were held without party symbols and the candidates were backed by various political parties. The BJD has started horse trading and it is now offering Rs 5 to Rs 10 lakh to elected candidates in order to enlist their support. The ruling party just wants to show its majority by trying to win 250 to 300 posts,” said Saluja.

The Congress leader further stated that such type of horse-trading is not at all healthy for any democracy.

BJP leader Prithviraj Harichandan alleged that the ruling party leaders are trying to influence the Samiti members by any means.

“Since the mandate in the Panchayat polls has not been completely in favour of the BJD, its leaders are making every attempt to influence the Block chairman elections by muscle and money. BJP will continue its fight to protect democracy,” said Harichandan.

Responding to the BJP and Congress allegations, senior BJD leader Pratap Deb said, “The Opposition parties are trying to use media to spread misinformation. All such allegations of horse-trading are completely baseless.”