Political parties begin blame game following ECI meeting in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Soon after the meeting with Election Commission of Indian (ECI) officials, leaders of the major political parties engaged in mud-slinging with the BJP accusing BJD of misutilising government machineries while Congress hit out at both the BJP and the BJD.

“We have informed the ECI team about the misuse of power by the ruling party and how government officials have been engaged in works of the Biju Yuva Vahini. Earlier sensitive booths were restricted to maoists affected areas but the BJD has turned maximum booths across Odisha to sensitive ones with its ill-governance,” alleged BJP leader Bhrugu Baxipatra.

Senior Congress leader Narasingha Mishra said that the party informed Election Commission about the misuse of government agencies by both the Centre and the Odisha government. “We have also demanded for a free and fair election protecting the integrity of elections,” said Mishra.

BJD spokesperson Amar Patnaik said that the party requested the ECI to take necessary measure to stop violence by the BJP during the polls; besides, concerns have been raised over communal violence and defacing of leaders on social media. “We have also requested to include the money spent on star campaigners to election campaign expenditure of political parties,” said Patnaik.

On the other hand, CPI leader and former MLA Narayan Reddy said that EVM machine has lost its credibility and therefore, on behalf of his party, he requested the ECI team to reintroduce ballot paper for the upcoming polls in Odisha.

Earlier today, a six-member team of the ECI led by Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa met the representatives of major political parties of the State to discuss the preparations for the upcoming general elections.