BHUBANESWAR: Alleging that Biju Janata Dal (BJD) is planning large scale booth capturing during the panchayat polls, Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) on Tuesday demanded immediate remedial measures by State Election Commission (SEC) to ensure a free and fair election.
A team from the Congress, which submitted a memorandum to the SEC here, alleged that the ruling BJD is utilising officials at police station level to terrorise opposition Congress workers so that they refrain from actively campaigning for party candidates.
The memorandum alleged that some booths at different places were not included by the administration in the list of very sensitive and sensitive booths to benefit the ruling BJD. The Congress leaders said on February 5, 2017, the Inspector In-Charge of Katarabag in Sambalpur district threatened some party workers by detaining them in the police station and pressurising them not to campaign for party candidates.
The Congress leaders alleged that this is not for the first time that such an allegation has been brought against the police official. They demanded that he should be immediately removed from the locality to ensure free and fair polls.
Apprehending large-scale booth capturing, the Congress leaders demanded that adequate number of police personnel should be deployed in Baghasala gram panchayat under Paralakhemundi in Gajapati district and CCTV cameras installed at all sensitive booths of the district.
They said District Congress Committee (DCC) presidents of Sambalpur and Gajapati have also submitted petitions before the SEC in this connection.
Meanwhile, the BJP stepped up its campaign in constituencies going to the polls in the first phase panchayat polls on February 13. Despite threats that Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh will be opposed while campaigning, he will address three public meetings at Burda in Balangir district, Panchgaon in Jharsuguda and Subdega in Sundargarh district on February 9.
The State unit Samajwadi Party announced that party workers will demonstrate against the Chhattisgarh CM in front of Balangir and Jharsuguda Collectorates on February 9.