Athlete & EC ambassador Dutee Chand in soup for ‘campaigning’ for BJD candidate

Bhubaneswar: Athlete Dutee Chand, who is the ambassador for the Election Commission (EC) of India has landed in trouble over a social media post in which she purportedly campaigned for BJD’s Kandhamal LS candidate Achyuta Samanta.

A Facebook post showed Dutee seeking votes for Samanta. As she is a government employee and the Election Commission ambassador, the post allegedly violated the EC guidelines, informed sources.

An inquiry into the allegations will be done, said Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Odisha, Surendra Kumar after some mediapersons drew the attention of the official at a presser in Bhubanewar today.

“We will examine the social media post. According to the Election Commission rules, whenever someone is selected as an ambassador, the concerned person should not promote any party or a candidate. There are several posts available on social media which can be accredited to anybody. Unless the social media post is from a verified account, it is not possible to make any comment,” the CEO said.

On the other hand, BJP demanded the removal of Dutee as the ambassador of Election Commission.
“Even though Dutee is the ambassador, she is campaigning for Samanta. We want her dismissal from the post,” said Samir Mohanty, State BJP vice president.

Later Dutee refuted the charges and said she has neither campaigned for anyone nor requested anyone to vote for Samanta. “I have neither campaigned for anyone nor requested anyone to vote for anyone. I have only personally greeted him. Even I have not asked anyone to share the post or vote for him,” added Dutee.