BHUBANESWAR: Alleging that BJP has utilised money and muscle power from the neighbouring States to influence voters during the panchayat polls, the BJD on Monday said it would be misleading to conclude that there has been a popular upsurge in favour of the saffron party.
BJP has spent huge amount of money in the panchayat polls with the help of neighbouring Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand where it is in power, party spokesperson Pratap Keshari Deb said.
Detention of a former BJP mayor of Raipur at Rayagada by police, seizure of `2.11 lakh at Dumerpadar in Kalahandi and `1 lakh at Maidalpur in Nabarangpur district from BJP leaders on Monday have proved that money from Chhattisgarh was distributed in Odisha panchayat polls, Deb said.
Stating that BJD had brought this to the notice of State Election Commission (SEC) several times, Deb said many such incidents would have come to the fore if steps were taken. He, however, said the BJP would not succeed in its design to sway the voters to its side by resorting to such tactics. This is for the first time that thousands of leaders and workers from outside the State campaigned in Odisha during panchayat polls, he said.
The BJD leader said people of Odisha will not tolerate the arrogance and behaviour of BJP leaders after the ordinary success in panchayat polls. Biju Yuva Janata Dal (BYJD) spokesperson Bijay Nayak was also present.
Meanwhile, the BJP reacted strongly to the allegation of BJD. ‘’Had the Chhattisgarh Government given money to BJD leader Sarada Nayak to distribute among voters?’’ BJP spokesperson Sajjan Sharma asked.
Sharma said without accepting dent in its popularity gracefully, the BJD is trying to put the blame on Chhattisgarh Government.