BHUBANESWAR: National BJP president Amit Shah, Union Ministers Smriti Irani, Dharmendra Pradhan, Jual Oram and Radha Mohan Singh are among the senior leaders to campaign for the party in the by-poll to Bijepur Assembly constituency even as more than two dozen BJD ministers and MLAs are camping in the segment to ensure victory for its nominee.
Though it is expected that Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh will also campaign, his name is not in the list of star campaigners submitted by the BJP to the Election Commission of India (ECI). BJP spokesperson Sajjan Sharma said the list was submitted on February 5, to the ECI.The list of star campaigners of the BJP also includes BJP national general secretary (organisation) Ramlalji, national secretary Soudan Singh, Odisha in-charge Arun Singh, Union Ministers Giriraj Singh, Ram Kripal Yadav and Babul Supriyo. Former chief minister Giridhar Gamang is also among the other state leaders who will woo the voters on behalf of the BJP in the by-poll.
Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan will campaign for party candidate Ashok Panigrahi on February 11. Besides addressing 10 election meetings, Pradhan will also attend road shows during the day. He will address public meetings at Guderpali, Bhattigaon, Badipali, Kanpuri, Talpadar, M Sirgida, Bandhupali, Barmunda, Jaring and Manpur. Meanwhile, the BJD on Friday demanded that as the BJP failed to submit the list of its star campaigners to the ECI or the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) within seven days of the notification of the by-poll, all the expenses incurred in the electioneering by the leaders should be included in the expenditure of the candidate.
Party spokesperson Sasmit Patra and state BJD secretary Bijay Nayak demanded at a media conference that the expenses incurred for the campaign of national BJP president and six union ministers should be included in expenditure of the party candidate as the party has violated rules by not submitting the list within seven days of the issue of notification by the ECI for the by-poll.
In a memorandum submitted to the CEO here on Thursday, BJD had demanded that the Commission should not approve any list of star campaigners after the stipulated date. “The case of any person campaigning as star campaigner for any political party without approval of the Commission may decided as per rule and expenses incurred by him may be charged to the election expenses of the candidate,” the memorandum said.BJD MPs Bhatruhari Mahatab, Pinaki Mishra and Rabindra Jena raised the issue with the ECI at New Delhi on Friday.
New Collector, SP of Bargarh appointed
Bhubaneswar: Ahead of by-poll to Bijepur Assembly constituency on February 24, the State Government on Friday appointed Yamini Sarangi and Jai Narayan Pankaj as Collector and Superintendent of Police of Bargarh district respectively. Official sources said the Election Commission of India (ECI) has cleared the names of Sarangi and Pankaj from among the list of three each IAS and IPS officers recommended by the State Government for the posts. Both Sarangi and Pankaj are posted as district Collector and SP in Jagatsinghpur.
A delegation of BJP leaders led by Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had lodged a complaint with ECI on January 30 seeking removal of Bargarh Collector Khagendra Kumar Padhi and SP Jugal Kishore Banoth. The BJP had alleged that the two were acting like a political agents of ruling BJD. The ECI had ordered removal of Padhi and Banoth after the allegations and had asked the Government to recommend names to succeed them. According to a notification issued by the General Administration Department, Sachidananda Sahoo, Additional District Magistrate (ADM) will remain in-charge as Collector, Jagatsinghpur in place of Sarangi.