BALASORE: As the poll date draws closer, the parties are leaving no chance to woo the electorate with freebies. This time, however, the plans of a political outfit fell flat when police arrested a person on charges of distributing fake passbooks, cheque books and Kissan Credit Cards (KCC) in Naranpur panchayat under Nilgiri block on Tuesday.
Sources said some ad hoc employees of Matiali LAMPS under Balasore-Bhadrak Central Cooperative Bank were spotted distributing loan passbooks, cheque books and KCC on Monday allegedly to woo the voters of the panchayat.
Besides promising loans, they had assured the villagers that they would not have to repay the same if they vote for candidates of a particular political outfit, including Panchayat Samiti member Minati Parida. The distributors included Parida’s husband Biswambar Parida.
The incident occurred while BJD Rajya Sabha member Pyarimohan Mohapatra was on a campaign at Ambadiha in Nilagiri on Monday.
As the news spread, BJP MLA from Nilgiri Pratap Sarangi informed the OIC of Berhampur police station, SDPO Siba Charan Mallick and Sub-Collector Manoj Mohanty seeking action against the LAMPS employees. He also lodged a complaint with the State Election Commission citing
model Code of Conduct
A group of irate people accused local BJD leaders of motivating voters by such unscrupulous means and gheraoed the LAMPS office.
Police have arrested one Chittaranjan Panigrahi of Natapada village who was allegedly locked by the villagers inside the LAMPS office. Complainant Karunakar Panda alleged that the LAMPS employees had distributed the documents in several villages with the knowledge of bank officials. Panigrahi has been held and investigation is on, SDPO Mallick said.
Police have seized 16 passbooks, nine cheque books, some photos and voter identity cards and all documents were found to be fake, he added.
Cooperative Extension Officer-cum-authorised officer of LAMPS Birendra Kumar Mohanty has suspended the bank’s Branch Manager SK Behera.
The action was taken after a probe was conducted into the allegations by the cooperative bank.