BHUBANESWAR: After the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday sought governor S C Jamir's intervention over discrepancies in poll expenditure of chief minister Naveen Patnaik, the BJD launched a counter attack by raising questions on the affidavit submitted by union minister Jual Oram to Election Commission of India (ECI) on money spent by him in the 2014 election.
Alleging that there were serious discrepancies in the affidavit (poll expenditure statement) submitted by senior BJP leader and union minister Jual Oram to the ECI, BJD MPs Pinaki Mishra and Pratap Deb said that Oram had purportedly mentioned in the affidavit that he did not use his own funds.
However, Schedule 9 of the Statement of Election Expenditure showed that Oram deposited Rs 1.59 lakh cash and own cheque of Rs 2 lakh. Schedule 9 in the expenditure statement provides details about funds received from any person, company, firm, associations and body of persons for the campaign.
The BJD MPs said it was a blatant misrepresentation of facts in the election expenditure statement of Oram, and demanded that he should step down as a union minister.
Mishra and Deb said BJD will move the ECI on the issue soon. Alleging that there were similar discrepancies in the affidavits submitted by other BJP candidates to the ECI. The two MPs said the regional outfit would expose all these irregularities in phases.
Senior BJP leader and party spokesperson Sajjan Sharma, however, said that the two BJD MPs should ask the chief minister to resign to set an example before demanding the resignation of Oram.
The BJP had exposed discrepancies in the election expenditure statement of the chief minister, Sharma said and added that the BJD is trying to divert the issue to protect the party chief.