Saswat Singhdeo

Bhubaneswar: On the day of Patkura poll, the vacant seats of ministers and members of the ruling BJD in the State Assembly has irked Opposition parties, which targeted the ruling party and accused it of ignoring larger issues for mere votes.

The legislators of the Opposition parties accused BJD MLAs and leaders of campaigning at Patkura and trying to influence voters in the area.

"Many MLAs are busy influencing the voters in Patkura which is why they are not attending the Assembly session. All of them are staying within 1 km radius of the panchayats and villages of the constituency," said BJP chief whip Mohan Majhi.

Senior Congress leader and Cuttack MLA, Mohammed Moquim, said, "Today also the MLAs were missing in the Assembly. They are trying their best to ensure that their candidate wins the Patkura seat."

Refuting the allegations, BJD MLA Kishore Mohanty said, "All MLAs have returned. It is a lie that they are trying to influence voters in Patkura."

An estimated 71 per cent of the over 2.44 lakh voters in Patkura Assembly constituency exercised their franchise on Saturday amidst tight security. The election for Patkura Assembly seat was held after being postponed twice in past two months.