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Pradeep Singh

Bargarh: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday said that two of their Bargarh Zilla Parishad (ZP) members- Parbati Bhoi and Sushma Bhue- are missing and accused the ruling-Biju Janata Dal (BJD) of hiding them at a secret location in Sohela.

Odisha BJP vice-president Ashwini Sarangi alleged that the BJD is trying to lure the Bargarh ZP members of the saffron party by offering them huge benefits.

"Two of our ZP members- one from Attabira block and another from Bheden block- have been missing since December 4. Husbands of both the missing members on Saturday have lodged a complaint in this connection and also met the district Superintendent of Police," said Sarangi.

He further alleged that the other ZP members of the BJP are also being lured and even threatened to join the BJD.

[caption id="attachment_421642" align="aligncenter" width="750"] Husband of ZP Member Parbati Bhoi[/caption]

Besides, husband of one of the ‘missing’ ZP member said, "The BJD leaders have been trying to induct BJP ZP members into their party fold. They are trying to lure the members with huge monetary benefits so that they can bring a no-confidence motion."

[caption id="attachment_421643" align="aligncenter" width="750"] Bargarh Superintendent of Police Padmini Sahu[/caption]

Meanwhile, Bargarh SP Padmini Sahu said that a complaint has been lodged by the family members of the concerned ZP members and the cops are currently trying to trace the whereabouts of the members.

However, later in the day, nine Bargarh ZP members held a press conference in Bhubaneswar and said, "We quit the BJP and joined the BJD on March 28. The BJP is spreading lies; no one has abducted us."

Speaking on the matter, senior BJP leader Pradip Purohit said, "A conspiracy has been hatched from the Naveen Niwas (official residence of Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik) to divide the BJP. The Zilla Parishad members had won on BJP tickets; and hence, it is now a fit case for the anti-defection law to apply. We will move the State Election Commission soon."

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