Cong MLA alleges horse trading after member defects in Sundergarh ZP chairman poll

Bhubaneswar: In a serious allegation, Congress’ Talsara MLA, Prafulla Majhi alleged horse trading deal worth Rs 1 crore to lure one of party’s candidates to support BJD in the Sunderagrh Zilla Parishad (ZP) chairman poll.

Interestingly, such allegation has been brought after a Congress ZP member voted for a BJD candidate who subsequently went on to claim the post.

“I have the information that, Rs 1 crore-deal has been struck to support the BJD candidate and the exact amount can only be verified from those who were involved in the transaction. Definitely, either the district president of the party or the Pradesh Congress Committee is involved in the matter. Otherwise such a deal would have not been possible. I would suggest that those who are involved should be expelled from the party as soon as possible,” said Majhi.

On the other hand, the allegations were struck down by senior Congress leader Hemanand Biswal.

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“What horse trading Majhi is talking about, I have no clue. If he can prove my involvement then I will quit politics,” said Biswal.

As learnt from sources, such a deal was struck on March 8 at a hotel in Bhubaneswar.

“I was present there in a hotel in Bhubaneswar along with the election in-charge of the party. We have never dealt with any ministers and whatever decision was taken it was based on everyone’s suggestions. We joined hands with BJD and because they agreed to our demands of giving us the vice-president post,” said Congress MLA, Jogesh Singh.

“There were not closed-door meetings. Every ZP member barring one was present when we were approached by some agent of the ruling BJD. Majhi should prove his allegation, else we will file a defamation suit,” said District Congress president, Dushmant Nayak.