CMs should not be engaged in poll campaigning: Bijoy Mohapatra

Bhubaneswar: BJP veteran Bijoy Mohapaptra, whose name was included in the party’s revised star campaigner list for the ensuing panchayat polls after media drew attention, on Tuesday said that chief ministers should not be engaged in the election campaigning.

The senior leader’s reaction followed a day after ruling BJD, Congress and Samajwadi Party decided to stage demonstrations if Chhattisgarh chief minster Raman Singh addresses public gathering during poll campaigning in Odisha. Mohapatra further said, the CMs of other States should not come into picture during this time.

“The CMs should not be involved in the campaigning…There are a lot of leaders in the party. If he (Raman Singh) comes nobody will restrict him to deliver speech, but in this poll the CMs should not come into picture….Instead the party leaders should come and campaign”, Mohapatra stated.

“…A lot of central leaders are there for campaigning….I don’t know if the decision was taken by the BJP top brass”, he further said.

Party insiders said, names of Singh and his Jharkhand counterpart Raghubar Das were included in the second revised list of party’s star campaigners at the hint of Union Petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan. On political front, since Mohapatra and Pradhan have a fragile relationship, for which, the former’s name was initially ‘missing’ in the star campaigners’ list, the senior leader becoming vocal on the issue is obvious.

Though Mohapatra preferred to term his comment on the issue a personal one, his hint was clearly evident.

During his media interaction, he too opined that the Central Bureau of Investigation and Crime Branch of Odisha police for a short while must stay away from their investigation process.

“Both CBI and CB should stay away from their investigation process during election time. As the State is going to polls and the process has started, the agencies should stop their investigation process for a brief period… Besides, in polls, they should not be used to settle political score…..The revenge politics which was not there earlier should be stopped….The parties should campaign for themselves and let the people decide”, he maintained.