Rashmi Rekha Das

With barely days left for the Padampur bypoll, politics and mudslinging between political parties has taken centre stage following incidents like kidnapping and raids by multiple agencies.

Hours after IT raids on Padampur-based four businessmen who are BJD supporters, the state government on Monday allegedly unleashed GST officials to conduct raids on some business establishments in the towns of Paikmal and Jharbandha including Padampur.  These raids triggered a political slugfest with BJD accusing BJP of using central agency to create an atmosphere of fear.

On the other hand, Congress has stated that raids were carried out by both BJP and BJD to make voters panic. 

Terming the raids as ‘political raids’, Congress leader Tara Prasad Bahinipati said, “Keeping the bypoll in mind, both BJP and BJD are using their weapons to woo voters. While BJP used central agencies CBI and ED as its weapon, the ruling BJD used GST as its weapon.

However, public is very much aware of  poll tactics which these parties are following. It will have its impact on Padampur by-election. The outcome of 2024 election will go in favour of the Congress.”

On the contrary, BJD accused the BJP leaders and activists including Kusum Tete, Kalandi Samal, Pinki Pradhan and Thakir Ranjit Das of resorting to violence. The BJD activists have demanded the party authorities to remove them from campaigning for the bypoll.

Meanwhile, abduction of a BJP leader has become talk of the poll-bound Padampur with the saffron party accusing BJD’s hand behind it.

The BJP activists, meanwhile, have demanded an impartial investigation into it.

At a press meet, BJD MLA Sasmit Patra said, “BJP activists have assaulted a lady officer who was on her way home. She was part of the GST raids. Besides, BJP leader Dillip Senapati was caught red-handed while bribing voters. In order to save him from public wrath, BJP has brought kidnapping allegations and filed a false complaint against BJD in this regard.” 

Reacting to BJD MLA Sasmit Patra’s statement, opposition leader Jaynarayan Mishra said, “Pinki Pradhan is an actress. BJD has accused her of spreading reign of terror. This is ridiculous. BJD has not even spared me. The BJD activists filed complaint against me with Election Commission. BJD itself is creating unrest at Padampur.  Like ‘chor machaye shor, BJD is protecting itself after committing the crime.”