Viral videos expose kickbacks for BJD tickets

Bhubaneswar: On top of battling rising dissidence within the party, the ruling-BJD now seems to have been caught in a web of major controversy surrounding kickback deals in ticket allotments.

Several videos doing rounds in social media purportedly shows how party leaders have been granting tickets to aspirants not through any scientific criteria, but by receiving undue favours and kickbacks.

In a video of a party programme in Rairangpur Bahalada, a party worker is seen levelling serious allegations against the district observers accusing them of seeking Rs 50 lakh bribe and also using girls and women for entertainment for granting poll tickets.

Even as the validity of the video is yet to be ascertained, similar allegations of kickbacks have also come to fore in the Congress camp.

A few days ago, senior leader of Congress Yudhistir Samantaray had accused OPCC chief Niranjan Patnaik of demanding Rs 5 crore from candidates for a ticket.

Not only that videos of BJD candidates luring voters through various promises, have also surfaced. Party’s Jharsuguda candidate Naba Das was seen announcing that people would be distributed drought compensation even if there was no drought, if BJD is voted to power.

However, Das clarified that his statements were twisted. “I said government report on drought has not been corrected and drought will definitely be announced, farmers should not bear losses,” said Das.

Meanwhile, the BJP has targeted the ruling-BJD over such videos.

“BJD leaders have now started to feel that the BJP’s time has come to form new government in Odisha as people are looking for parivartan, so they are willing to stoop to any degree,” said BJP spokesperson, Golak Mohapatra.

However, BJD hit back at the saffron party with spokesperson Sasmit Patra saying, “Those who are publishing fake intelligence report through media and boast of telling the truth should clarify the sources of these videos.”