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Nitesh Kumar Sahoo

A delegation of leaders from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday called on the State Election Commission (SEC) over several instances of violation of the model code of conduct during the first two phases of the on-going Panchayat polls in Odisha.

The BJP alleged that the Chairman of Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA), in Nandahandi Block of Nabrangpur district, who is contesting for Zilla Parishad post from Biju Janata Dal (BJD), has been distributing Rs 1300 to farmers for line transplantation of paddy plant. The saffron party alleged that the candidate is using government money for this purpose. 

"The BJD Zilla Parishad candidate in Nandahandi Block is the present Chairman of ATMA. Even knowing well that this is election time, the agriculture officials have deposited Rs 1300 in the account of farmers. This is done purposefully to ensure victory for the BJD candidate," alleged BJP leader, Surath Biswal.

The BJP delegation expressed concerns that while no action has been taken against Swaropananda Sahoo, the Block Development Officer (BDO) of Kishorenagar Block in Angul, another audio clip of the same government official’s misconduct has surfaced. The delegation had earlier reported the SEC about the BDO’s misconduct and violation of the model code of conduct during the ongoing Panchayat elections.

Furthermore, Biswal said, "We had earlier filed a complaint against the BDO. However, no action has been taken against him yet. Since he is confident that no action will be taken against him, he has committed another violation. We have deposited evidence to substantiate our allegations against the BDO."

The delegation urged the Commission to take stringent action against the BJD candidate and the BDO. 

"We are expecting action against them by this evening. Our party workers have staged protests at those locations. If the Commission didn't take any action, BJP workers will stage a protest at the SEC office," Biswal added.

However, the reaction of the ATMA Chairman and the BDO over the allegations couldn't be obtained.

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