Cassian Baliarsingh

As the high voltage campaign for Dhamnagar bypoll continues, different political parties continue to accuse others of defying norms and engaging in illicit methods to woo the voters.

Now, a video of a BJD worker trying to lure voters by offering cash prize has been going viral on social media.

Addressing a group of people, the worker can be heard saying, “Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik will give Rs 1 crore each to every panchayat that votes for his party.”

He made the statement amidst the presence of other leaders and ministers. With the election-day inching closer, BJP and Congress suspect BJD is influencing voters by distributing cash and liquor. Even as security has been tightened, such activities continue unabated.

Many party workers visit villagers with cash and liquor pouches. Earlier, a video of a woman trying to allure voters by distributing money through SHGs had gone viral on social media platforms.

A day back, BJP general secretary Lekhashree Samantasinghar had met Chief Electoral Officer and submitted a written memorandum demanding the immediate arrest of those involved in cash distribution at Dhamnagar Assembly constituency.

The BJP has warned to stage a sit-in before Bhadrak District Collectorate if no steps were taken in this regard in the coming days.

“This corruption, bribing and illicit ways to hamper the bypoll is nothing new. BJD is an expert in such activities and does it in every elections. We suspect, the BJD is trying to lure the voters with cash and liquor. So, we have alerted our BJP workers to alert the EC against any such misdeeds,” said Prithviraj Harichandan, state general secretary, BJP.

Meanwhile, all the political parties have intensified their campaign to woo the voters. Several political heavyweights will descend to garner votes in favour of their respective candidates.

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan is all set to campaign on October 27 and 28 for BJP candidate Suryabanshi Suraj. On the other hand, Congress has decided to recruit Suresh Routray, Niranjan Pattnaik, Jaydev Jena, Prasad Harichandan, Chiranjeevi Biswal and other MLAs for their party candidate.

On the other hand, CM Naveen Patnaik might also join the campaigning, reports said. However, there has been no official confirmation in this regard.