BHUBANESWAR: The State BJP on Wednesday petitioned the State Election Commission (SEC) against the ruling BJD for allegedly using a State helicopter in election campaign violating the model code of conduct.
The BJD, on the other hand, brought allegations against Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan for publicly threatening Government officials engaged in the panchayat elections.
A delegation of the BJP which met State Election Commissioner RN Senapati said a State Government helicopter, which was engaged in the Chief Minister’s official duty, was found used by a BJD MP for campaigning on Tuesday.
The party further alleged that four bureaucrats of the Chief Minister Secretariat are managing the three-tier panchayat polls for the ruling party.
In its memorandum, the BJP alleged that BJD president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is grossly violating the model code of conduct and misusing power by engaging four bureaucrats in remote-controlling the panchayat polls from the State Secretariat. Naming the bureaucrats, the party demanded action against them.
Collectors and Superintendents of Police (SPs) are being instructed from Third Floor (Chief Minister’s Office) to use the lower rung district level officials swing the poll results in favour of the ruling party, said BJP spokesperson Sajjan Sharma.
Sharma accused BJD MP Anubhav Mohanty of misusing the helicopter meant for the Government during panchayat poll campaigning.
Countering the BJP allegation, the BJD said Pradhan being a Union Minister has publicly vilified the district collectors and SPs by terming them as district presidents and secretaries of the ruling party respectively.
He has also threatened that a commission will be set up to punish such officials after the elections are over, the BJD memorandum to the SEC said.
Threatening Government officers engaged in election duty amounts to violation of model code of conduct. Besides, the Union Minister has created an atmosphere of threat and fear which may prevent the officials from functioning in a free and fair manner, the memorandum added.