BHUBANESWAR: Even as the BJP threatened to launch a Statewide agitation demanding that BJD should disclose the source of the party’s poll funding and explain discrepancies in expenditure, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday dismissed the charges as a “malicious, fabricated and false” campaign against his party.
Naveen, who returned from a five-day visit to New Delhi, warned, “If necessary, the party will take legal action over the issue.”
Replying to questions, the Chief Minister said the campaign on the source of BJD’s poll fund and its expenditure may have been a conspiracy against the BJD for its growing popularity. “It seems to be a conspiracy,” he said.
The Chief Minister also referred to the defeat of BJP candidate in Komna Zilla Parishad polls in Nuapada district. “The Komna ZP is in the Assembly constituency of BJD State president Basant Panda. But the BJP candidate was relegated to third position behind BJD and Congress in the recently held ZP polls there,” he said and added BJP has been wiped from Nuapada district in ZP polls. The BJD candidate won the ZP seat by defeating his nearest Congress rival.
Several BJD leaders had earlier pointed towards the Komna ZP election results as one of the reasons behind the campaign on the source of BJD’s poll funds. In fact, after the claim made by national BJP president Amit Shah that the party will win two-thirds majority in 2019 Assembly election and form Government in Odisha, the performance of BJP in ZP poll was a big letdown.
Meanwhile, vice-president of the State BJP Sameer Mohanty criticised BJD for trying to divert attention from the issue. Alleging that there are discrepancies in the expenditure statement provided by the BJD to the Election Commission and affidavit of different candidates, Mohanty alleged that BJD is trying to suppress the entire matter by avoiding the issue. The BJP leader announced that the party will take the issue to the people by launching a Statewide agitation soon.
Senior Congress leader Niranjan Patnaik, however, said there is no transparency in election funding of political parties. All political parties are run by unaccounted money, he said.