BHUBANESWAR:Facing tough challenge from BJP in the panchayat polls, the BJD on Sunday demanded that the former should furnish details about its leaders who campaigned in the elections, the vehicles used and money spent by them before the State Election Commission (SEC).
In a memorandum submitted to the SEC, the BJD demanded that the money spent by these leaders from Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand in Odisha panchayat polls should be added to the election expenditure of BJP Zilla Parishad (ZP) candidates.
Alleging that presence of large number of BJP leaders and workers from the neighbouring States hampered the process of ensuring a free and fair election, the BJD demanded that a probe should be ordered against all BJP candidates who won the ZP polls for violating the Representation of People’s Act 1951, Odisha Zilla Parishad Act, 1994 and the model code of conduct.
The delegation led by BJD spokesperson Sashi Bhusan Behera alleged that for the first time in the history of panchayat polls in Odisha, such a large number of leaders and workers from outside the State campaigned. “BJP has created a wrong tradition by doing so,” Behera said and added that this is against healthy democratic norms.
Behera alleged that though BJD has brought this matter before the SEC a number of times during the election process, no tangible steps have been initiated to check this. He said the same leaders and workers are shifting their base to areas where next phase of elections will be held and trying to influence voters with money and muscle power.
The BJD delegation also submitted a memorandum addressed to DG of Police BK Singh and demanded strong action against those violating the model code of conduct. The delegation included party MLA Priyadarshi Mishra and BYJD general secretary Bijay Nayak.