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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Balasore: In what seems to be a game of music chairs, Odisha BJP leader Lekhashree Samantsinghar on Friday, alleged violation of Covid-19 guidelines by State Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister Ranendra Pratap Swain during the ongoing campaign for Balasore by-election.

Samantsinghar submitted a complaint to Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) and Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) in this matter.

“Four ministers of the State Government including Swain have violated the Covid-19 guidelines so far. He has also openly violated the election code of conduct and we have complained about the matter before the CEO and SRC,” stated Samantsinghar.

“According to the code of conduct set by the CEO, only 200 people are allowed in a closed door meeting during the by-poll campaign. But Swain has clearly violated the code of conduct by addressing Biju Chhatra Sammilani (convention of student wing of BJD) with more than 1000 people inside a closed hall. We have the videos of the meeting in which Swain could be seen saying that there are over a thousand people in the hall during the meeting,” she said.

Samantsinghar raised questions over the conduct of a free and fair election to the Assembly constituencies.

“When the state government is violating the Covid-19 norms and election code of conduct openly, a big question mark has been raised over a free and fair election,” she said doubting about the democratic values of the ruling party.

“Odisha Government has no respect for democratic ethics. The ruling party had resorted to undemocratic principles during the last general elections and is also doing the same ahead of this year's by-elections. They used to lure the voters by distributing money, misuse the power and break the guidelines,” alleged Samantsinghar.

The BJP leader said that it was a reckless behaviour on part of Swain to break the guidelines during this crucial time.

“Swain himself has just recovered from Covid-19. How could a senior minister like him be so irresponsible and reckless?” she questioned.

Also Read |Odisha Bypolls: BJP Accuses BJD Ministers Of Violating Model Code Of Conduct

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