Vikash Sharma

Despite clear instructions from the Election Commission of India (ECI) and zero tolerance towards the use of children in poll campaigns, such guidelines have been openly flouted in electoral campaign of BJD’s Kendrapara Lok Sabha candidate Anshuman Mohanty. Such allegations have been levelled by Kendrapara district BJP president Kishore Panda who has now approached the Odisha Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) in connection with the violation.

Panda alleged that children are being actively used in the campaign activities of Anshuman Mohanty.

In a letter, Panda wrote, "The Model Code of Conduct explicitly prohibits the involvement of children in electoral campaigns. This is designed to protect the welfare and rights of children, ensuring that they are not exploited for political gains or exposed to the partisan environments that election campaigns invariably create."

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“In places where BJD is doing rally, they are using children for campaigning. It is unfortunate and condemnable. The people of Kendrapara have also expressed concern over this. We have requested the Chief Electoral Officer to take appropriate steps in this connection,” said Panda. Panda has also urged the Election Commission of India to take immediate action to investigate these allegations against Anshuman Mohanty.

Meanwhile, Mohanty could not be contacted over the allegations.

In another development, the Kendrapara BJP has also approached the district Collector-cum-Election Officer alleging that some government advocates (Additional Public Prosecutors) have illegally engaged themselves as legal advisors of contesting candidates of BJD.

In its allegation, the BJP said that such advocates are not attending their work at the job site (Court) and going to give advice to the contesting candidates of the BJD during duty hours which is illegal and intolerable as they are getting paid/salary by the government.

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