Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: War of words between BJP and BJD is continuing unabated over the seizure of Rs 40.50 lakh in Bargarh with senior leaders of both the parties accusing each other of trying to lure voters with money power ahead of the bypoll to Bijepur Assembly constituency.

"I dare Bargarh SP to hand over the case to ED and Income Tax Department within half an hour. The truth will come out," said Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said at a press meet on Monday.

Pradhan further stated, "As it is being said that the cash belongs to BJP and Viswa Hindu Parishad, BJD leader Prasanna Acharya can be also be charged in connection with the cash seizure because he was initially associated with RSS and VHP. All including the CM are aware about the fact that half a dozen BJD members were members of the RSS in the past."

Responding to the Union Minister's allegations, Acharya asked the saffron party to refrain from making such statements.

"If they points finger at my character, it will boomerang on them," said Acharya said adding that BJD believes in free and fair elections but the party at the Centre is indulged in other activities. BJD condemns such act by BJP,

"We have drawn attention of the Election Commission in this connection. The Commission can hand over the case to Enforcement Directorate and Income Tax department for investigation," he added.

The BJD had earlier alleged that the arrested persons in the incident are activists of VHP and Bajarang Dal.

Earlier, Police had earlier detained two persons near check gate at Mahulipali square on Padampur-Bijepur road while the duo was transporting around Rs 40 lakh cash in their four-wheeler on Saturday.

Later, Akash Agarwal and his father Om Prakash Agarwal were arrested after they failed to provide any satisfactory answer about the cash yesterday.