BJD poll funding row: Hearing on recall petition on July 27; BJP moves EC

Cuttack: The Orissa High Court will hold its final hearing on July 27 on the recall petition filed by Ganjam Collector in connection with the alleged poll fund irregularities by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

“The Court has set July 27 for final hearing of the case. The Collector in his petition cited that notice issued by the court to Election Commission of India is wrong and approached the Court to withdraw its order. In its short hearing today, the Court has given us time to reply on the petition. While arguing in favour of State government, the Advocate General appealed to the court not to entertain the root petition as petitioner does not belong to CM’s constituency,” SC lawyer Narender Hooda arguing in favour of the complainant, Subhas Mohapatra.

To a question that the root petition was considered belated as it was filed in 2016 and listed in 2017 while the election was held in 2014, the lawyer said the day when a fraud was detected, the case generally begins from that day. “When a disappeared murder accused is identified five years after the crime, it doesn’t mean that action would not be initiated against him,” Hooda cited.

On the other hand, BJP intensified its attack against BJD by approaching State Election Commission to scrap Assembly membership of Chief Minister Naveen for allegedly misusing government machineries over alleged irregularities in party’s poll fund expenditure.

The delegation which submitted a memorandum to SEC addressed to the Election Commission of India alleged that State Government considered the case against Hinjili MLA Naveen Patnaik as a case against CM and used the government machinery accordingly in the case.  Demanding a three-year restriction on Patnaik from contesting poll, the saffron team also sought stern action against him after inquiry into the alleged misappropriation of funds under Representation of the People Act.

On the other hand BJD came forward in rescue of the party chief. “The losers can’t bring such allegation against the Chief Minister. The bank account in question neither belongs to BJD nor its supremo Naveen Patnaik. It is SBI’s own account-10091805573,” BJD spokesperson Pratap Deb said.