Pradeep Pattanayak

Bharatiya Janata Party’s candidate for the Berhampur Lok Sabha seat, Pradeep Panigrahi on Friday brought serious allegations against government officials and a former IG, alleging they are creating an atmosphere of fear and intimidation. 

“During my two days of stay in Ganjam, I came to know that a former IG has been threatening voters of different constituencies. He is asking them to be with the BJD.  He is also threatening leaders, workers and contractors,” said Panigrahi. 

While addressing a meeting at Chhatrapur in Ganjam, Panigrahi trained his gun at the BJD-led government and said some influential government officers are acting like ruling party’s workers. “Some senior officers of the district are posted here (Berhampur) and they work for the party. After the election, they are transferred,” said Panigrahi, who was expelled from the BJD and later joined the BJP. 

Also Read: BJD candidate list: Trouble mounts for party as nominees face pushback!

Meanwhile, the Congress too joined the BJP in accusing the BJD of using government officers for its own purpose. 
“There is no free and fair election. They are fully controlling the government machinery. Their strategy is to win elections by any means,” alleged Congress leader, Sudarshan Das. 

The BJD refuted the allegations. 

“At the time of elections, the Opposition party always alleges that the ruling party is misusing the government machinery. If Pradeep Panigrahi thinks government machinery is being misused, he is free to lodge a complaint with the Election Commission,” said BJD MLA, Parshuram Dhada. 

When asked, senior journalist Rabi Das said, “Only the Election Commission can take action against these so-called government officers. If they (the BJP) lodge a complaint, immediate steps will be taken.”

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