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Suryakant Jena

The Odisha State Election Commission (SEC) has come under intense backlash from the BJP for allegedly showing favour to the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) ahead of the elections to various Panchayat Raj institutions and Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) in the State.

The BJP move comes just about a week before the State goes for three-tier Panchayat elections.

A 7-member team of BJP called on the SEC on Saturday to express discontentment over some important decisions of the poll body with respect of the forthcoming elections to the ULBs in the State. 

The team presented a memorandum to the State Election Commissioner AP Padhi while urging the Constitutional authority to work independently without ceding to the influence of the ruling party. 

The BJP has expressed its shock over the recently released schedule for the revision of electoral roll for the urban body polls. 

While the government has allotted six days for receipt of grievances from voters, between February 11 and 16, just one day has been allotted for the disposal of claims and objections. 

The BJP has suggested that the election body should have earmarked at least 10 days for filing of objections and no less than 3 days for clearance of grievances. 
Terming the poll schedule a gross violation of the Municipal election rules, the BJP has alleged that the SEC is working to favour the BJD. 

"How can the hearing of electoral roll objections be completed in a single day? It is absolutely disparaging to see how the State Election Commission is working at the behest of the BJD. If the poll body does not work independently and as per the Constitutional rules, we will not hesitate to take legal recourse," said senior BJP spokesman Golakh Mohapatra. 

The SEC has however not commented over the allegations of the BJP.

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