BJP raises question on SEC’s ruling in health minister case

Bhubaneswar: A local unit of the BJP on Thursday voiced dismay over the manner in which the State Election Commission (SEC) gave clean chit to health minister Damodar Rout in the alleged violation of model code of conduct for urban polls in Odisha.
"In spite of this clearly laid down dictum on the use of red beacon by ministers during campaigning, Rout has been allowed scot free on his violation," BJP's Convener for Urban Local Bodies Cell, Dilip Mohanty said in a letter to SEC.
Health minister Rout was accused of violating model code of conduct by using a vehicle having red beacon atop during campaigning in Dhenkanal district. Rout, however, got clean chit from the SEC as the red beacon was not flickering at the time of going to campaign.
In the questionnaire for the ?Model Code of Conduct for the Guidance of Political Parties and Candidates, BJP pointed out that question No 13 clearly states that: ?Minister or any other political functionary is not allowed during the election period to use pilot car or car with beacon lights of any colour or car affixed with sirens of any kind whether private or official visit?.
In spite of this clearly laid down dictum, the Minster was allowed scot free on his violation, Mohanty said adding the party was not accepting SEC's decision on the health minister case.
Meanwhile, a delegation of the party met the State Election Commissioner and drew his attention to the continuance of violations of the Model Code of Conduct by the ruling BJD in the campaigning of the upcoming polls.
They also handed over a copy of the letter which has been given to the Director General of Police for the matter of lawlessness in Brahmapur and other cities in South Odisha.