Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Ahead of the final phase election in Odisha, some Self Help Group (SHG) women members were allegedly distributing money in the Mission Shakti building on the premises of Remuna block in Balasore district on Friday evening. 

Following the allegation of BJP MLA candidate Gobinda Charan Das, the flying squad reached the spot, conducted raids and seized money amounting to Rs 1,18,000. As many as three SHG women reportedly fled the spot following the development.

As per reports, a special flying squad conducted the raid and seized the money kept inside black polythenes with names of different panchayats mentioned on those.

"We received an allegation about money distribution in the Mission Shakti building on the block premises a few moments ago. Following this, the flying squad reached the spot immediately and carried out the raid. Nobody was present during the raid. We have also started an inquiry into the incident. Proper action will be initiated against erring persons following the completion of the inquiry," said a flying squad official.

As per the allegation by BJP workers, the money was being distributed by BJD workers to Mission Shakti women to vote in favour of the ruling party.

"When our workers asked them about the matter at 6.50 pm, they could not give any satisfactory answers to us and ran away from the spot. We also asked some officials to unlock the door. However, they refused. When the door was opened with a duplicate key from the watchman, a huge amount of cash inside black-coloured polythenes was recovered from below the staircase. Is it a place to store money?"  said a BJP worker.

"It's not a good sign for democracy. After calling BDO and Sub-Collector, the flying squad reached the spot and conducted a raid. Whole Odisha should know about it," said BJP MLA candidate Gobinda Charan Das.

In response to the development, BJP's Balasore MP Pratap Sarangi said, "I doubt that crores of rupees may have been distributed. More money could have been seized as they ran away with the rest of the amount. After getting frustrated, BJD is distributing money and using government offices for the purpose. Vehicles of other parties are only getting checked. However,  BJD's money is being carried away by vehicles escorted by police. VK Pandian and Sujata Karthikeyan should be suspended and arrested. They are doing all these things."

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