SEC Directs BJD to Remove Posters
With Congress and BJP accusing BJD of violating model code of conduct for election to urban local body (ULB) polls in the name of its foundation day, State Election Commission (SEC) on Thursday directed the ruling party to remove posters and banners from public places.
The State Government has asked BJD to remove election materials like posters, banners, cutouts and hoardings from public places including electricity pillars and Government structures.
Accusing BJD of violating model code of conduct during its foundation day celebration here on Thursday, Congress had petitioned the SEC asking it to take action against Chief Minister and BJD chief Naveen Patnaik.
“To celebrate the foundation day within city limits shall not violate model code of conduct ... but thousands of voters of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) election were brought to the venue by using many vehicles,” Congress leaders said in the petition.
Senior leaders including general secretary of the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) Utkal Keshari Routray, OPCC spokesman Lalatendu Mohapatra and OPCC vice-president Shivananda Ray were signatories to the petition.
In the name of ‘Pratistha Diwas’, a meeting was organised on Thursday for the purpose of municipal corporation election under the leadership of Naveen Patnaik. This is a pre-planned arrangement made by BJD to manipulate and influence the voters which is motivated and malafide, the Congress petition alleged.
The BJP also submitted a petition to the SEC. Asking the election commission to inquire into the allegations, Congress and BJP leaders asked the SEC to take action against Naveen Patnaik.
394 in Fray
As many as 394 candidates remained in fray for Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) polls scheduled to be held on January 8 after 38 candidates withdrew their nominations on the last day on Thursday.
According to final list of candidates released by State Election Commission (SEC), of 432 valid nominations, 38 candidates withdrew their papers. Total 186 Independent and other candidates along with 141 candidates of different political parties will contest in the BMC polls.
The BJD has fielded candidates in all the 67 Wards while the Congress has fielded 62 candidates and BJP 66. The SEC has convened an all-party meeting on Friday to discuss the model code of conduct and law and order issues.
Utkal Bharat Fields 12
The newly formed political outfit Utkal Bharat has fielded 12 candidates in the upcoming Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections.
Of the total candidates, six are female. Party president Kharabela Swain has said unlike other political parties, who stake a percentage of the funds utilised in the civic work that they undertake, Utkal Bharat candidates will not take any project money.
In addition to their 12 candidates, the party is also supporting Independents.