BHUBANESWAR: Trading charges against each other for the rise in poll violence cases, the ruling BJD and opposition Congress met Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Surendra Kumar on Sunday evening.Earlier on the day, Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Niranjan Patnaik sustained injuries in an attack by miscreants at an election rally in Ghasipura Assembly segment. Patnaik is contesting from Ghasipura against BJD candidate and Minister Badri Narayan Patra.
Sources said the OPCC chief’s vehicle was attacked at Bhandaripada Chowk in Ghasipura. Apart from Patnaik, many Congress workers including the party’s leader from Sanakhemundi Ramesh Jena were injured and hospitalised.
Following the attack on Patnaik, unidentified miscreants resorted to blank firing at Nahangi of Gadabandhagoda gram panchayat within Ramachandrapur police limits. Sources said the miscreants came in four-wheelers, opened fire and fled. On being informed, police rushed to the spot and conducted inquiry. Gadabandhagoda village is the native place of Minister Patra.
In a memorandum to the CEO, Congress leaders alleged that Patra’s sons were involved in the attack on OPCC chief and Jena. The party also accused Patra’s sons of firing at Congress workers who managed to escape unhurt.
Congress sought strong action in this regard and demanded deployment of Paramilitary forces and installation of CCTV cameras in all booths of the Assembly segment during polling on April 23.
On the other hand, the BJD in a memorandum to the CEO, demanded action against Jena and his supporters for allegedly threatening the ruling party workers and spreading violence in Ramachandrapur area of Ghasipura constituency.
“Ramesh Jena, an anti-social, has more than 50 cases pending against him. He is moving with his goons in Ramachandrapur even during the ban period (for campaigning) prior to voting,” stated BJD leaders in the memorandum.
They sought action against Jena and the OPCC chief for violating the Model Code of Conduct.