Bribe offer to voters: Complaint filed against BJD Minister Pratap Jena

Cuttack: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today filed a complaint against Health Minister Pratap Jena alleging that the minister violated the Model Code of Conduct and demanded stern action and arrest of Jena.

While addressing a gathering during a party workers meeting in Mala of Salepur area on Wednesday, Jena allegedly said that his party (BJD) would give Rs 35 lakh cash to the panchayat and Rs 15 lakh to the booth which would give maximum votes to local BJD candidate Prasant Behera.

Such announcement by Jena, when the Model Code of Conduct is already in effect in the State, is unfortunate, said district president of BJP’s Cuttack unit, Hemant Sahu. “A minister violating the code of conduct is unacceptable. We (Cuttack unit of BJP) have lodged a complaint against him at the Salepur police station demanding his arrest,” he added.

Besides, a delegation of the State BJP led by vice-president Samir Mohanty met the Chief Electoral Officer (today) and demanded action against Jena for his statement. “Jena has violated the Model Code of Conduct. We appraised the CEO about the matter today and demanded his prosecution under Section 171B and 171C of Indian Penal Code,” said Mohanty.

Satya Nayak, Congress media cell chief, said Pratap Jena tried to lure voters by saying that panchayats which would give maximum vote to local BJD candidates will get Rs 35 lakh each after elections. “He has violated the Model Code of Conduct and so, we will also meet the CEO and demand to debar him from contesting election,” said Nayak.

BJD spokesperson Sasmit Patra on the other hand said that as the matter is now with the CEO, the autonomous constitutional body will take decision.