KENDRAPARA: With election to Patkura Assembly seat barely eight days away, the BJP on Thursday accused the ruling BJD of pumping money to influence voters.
Addressing media persons at Kendrapara on Thursday, national general secretary of BJP and Odisha in-charge Arun Singh alleged that BJD candidate Sabitri Agrawalla was caught handing over cash to a voter at Chata village.
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The incident took place on July 9, he said and showed a photograph of Sabitri giving cash to the person. Sabitri’s act amounts to influencing voters, Singh said. “She is seen in the photograph distributing money to a voter in Patkura on July 9.
She violated the poll code by indulging in criminal activities amounting to bribing voters which is punishable under Section-171 (b) and 171 (c) of IPC”, said Singh.
The BJP lodged a complaint with Chief Election Commission, New Delhi; Chief Electoral Officer at Bhubaneswar and Returning Officer for Patkura Assembly seat.
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Sabitri denied the charge stating that she did not do anything that would amount to influencing voters. “I never handed over money to any voter. BJP is trying to tarnish my image with an ulterior motive by levelling false allegations against me.
Voters of Patkura trust me and are all set to elect me with huge margin,” she said.
Sabitri was embroiled in a similar controversy in May for distributing relief money among cyclone-affected villagers at Nahang village under Derabisahi block in the presence of government officials.
The BJP had lodged a complaint against her with the three election authorities.