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Pradeep Pattanayak

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday alleged of electoral corruption during polling at Ward no-II in Nijigarh Panchayat of Pallahara Block in Angul district.  

Alleging discrepancy, the Pallahara Block unit of the saffron party alleged that the number of ballot papers used for voting didn’t match with the number of ballot papers found in the ballot boxes. 

“The number of ballot papers in the ballot boxes is more than the number ballot papers used in Nijigarh Panchayat. This indicates that more ballot papers had been used during polling with mala fide intentions,” said BJP leader from Pallahara, Ashok Mohanty.

“In case of Sarpanch, Samiti members and Ward members, there were no such differences in the number of ballot papers used and those found in ballot boxes. The discrepancy is found in case of Zilla Parishad seats only,” added Mohanty. 

“We have informed the matter to the election officer in writing and urged the State Election Commission to cancel the election and take action against those involved in the malpractice,” Mohnaty said. 

He said 12 more votes were found in the ballot box than those cast for the Zilla Parishad seat.  

Meanwhile, when contacted, Block Development Officer of Pallahara, Dillip Kumar Bara, said, “We will verify the allegations and if they were found to be true, steps would be taken as per the rules.”

At the same time, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has demanded recounting of votes in Zilla Parishad Zone-33 in Bisoi Block of Mayurbhanj district, alleging irregularities in counting. 

A delegation led by BJD MP Sasmit Patra on Sunday met the State Election Commissioner over the isue. 

In the above mentioned Zone, JMM candidate Sheetal Kisku has won the election, defeating his nearest BJD’s candidate Shobharam Murmu by 22 votes. 

“In Zilla Parishad zone-33, votes were cast in the name of those voters who have long been dead.  In this regard, we have submitted a memorandum to the SEC, requesting for a recounting. We hope he will consider our demands seriously and conduct the recounting very soon,” said Patra. 

“People are always looking for a change in leadership. My victory is largely due to their love and affection towards me. In the coming days, I will fight to give them their rights,” Kisku countered.

Similar allegation of irregularities during counting has also emerged from Kanas Block in Puri district. Demanding recounting, Sahupada Panchayat’s Sarpanch candidate Dushmant Mangaraj staged a sit-in at the counting centre on Sunday.

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