The State Election Commission (SEC) on Tuesday pulled up Finance Minister Prasanna Acharya for violating the model code of conduct while campaigning in the urban local body (ULB) elections in Bargarh.
The SEC has also cautioned the Finance Minister not to make such speeches in future in election meetings. Acharya, also a BJD vice-president, while campaigning for a party nominee at ward 19 in Bargarh on November 22, reportedly said, “I am the Finance Minister. Funds are in my hands. If you vote for Congress, I shall lock the funds.”
The Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) had demanded the resignation of the Finance Minister after the SEC pulled him up. “The Minister should now resign as the SEC has pulled him up for violation of model code of conduct,” OPCC president Jayadev Jena said.
Delegations from the Congress and BJP had met SEC Ajit Tripathy and submitted memoranda, seeking action against Acharya for violation of the model code of conduct.
The Congress had demanded removal of the SEC for his inaction over the issue and had submitted a memorandum to Governor S C Jamir in this regard on December 13. The SEC had met the Governor on Monday to explain his stand on allegations by the Congress that he played a partisan role during the ULB polls by not acting against the ministers and BJD leaders for alleged violation of model code of conduct by them.