Suryakant Jena

Bhubaneswar: A delegation of the BJP led by party vice president Samir Mohanty met the State Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Surendra Kumar levelling allegations of poll code violation by the ruling-BJD during campaigning for Patkuara poll.

"State Ministers and legislators of BJD are camping in Patkura with the help of officers and openly distributing money to the voters which is a clear violation of Model Code of Conduct (MCC). In the three blocks of the Assembly constituency, the distribution of old age pension, PDS items, passing of work order  were stopped in the area since last few days so that they could be given to the public today on the occasion of the CM Naveen's campaigning in the segment," alleged BJP deputy leader in Assembly, Bishnu Sethi.

Reiterating the issue of absence of BJD MLAs and ministers in the State Assembly proceedings for giving time to Patkura election, the BJP alleged that the State's ruling party is misusing government machinery for poll benefits.

"Out of 112 MLAs including 21 ministers, only 61 legislators (including 8 ministers) were present in the House today. Their party legislators are showing indifference to people's issues and skipping Assembly for election. So much so that one minister is replying to the House on behalf of another," said Sethi.

"The ruling party is boasting that it follows the ideology of Biju Babu but we are witnessing the opposite. While the former CM never participated in the bypolls, Naveen Babu is seen campaigning in every bypoll. Why the party is so desperate," questioned Sethi.

On the other hand, the BJD is yet to comment on the allegations.

Election to the Assembly seat which was deferred twice due to death of BJD candidate Bed Prakash Agarwalla and later postponed due to cyclone Fani, will be held on July 20. According to the ECI notification, the last date of campaigning is July 18 while the counting of votes will be carried out on July 24.

Veteran leader Bijoy Mohapatra has been nominated as the BJP candidate while Sabitri Agarwalla, wife of Bed Prakash Agarwalla will contest the poll from BJD ticket. Similarly, Congress has fielded Jayant Mohanty from the seat.