BHUBANESWAR: The BJP on Sunday petitioned the Election Commission against BJD for the large presence of ruling party leaders in Kendrapara in violation of the Model Code of Conduct. A BJP delegation led by party’s State vice-president Samir Mohanty met Chief Electoral Officer Surendra Kumar and submitted a memorandum addressed to the Election Commission alleging that 97 BJD leaders including Ministers are camping in Kendrapara and influencing voters.
“Despite norms that no leaders from outside the constituency can stay put before 48 hours of the polls, 97 leaders including Ministers and MLAs are camping in Kendrapara and trying to influence voters by either luring them with cash or terrorising those opposed to the ruling party,” Mohanty said.
He said the BJD leaders and their muscle men are spread over the seven Assembly segments of the constituency to avoid the notice of election officials. Though the BJP has requested the poll panel to provide names of the officials who have been given the responsibility to ensure that no BJD leaders from outside are allowed to stay in the constituency, the CEO is sitting over the matter, he alleged.
Mohanty further alleged that Kendrapara police is not doing its job by removing outsiders who are not voters of the Parliamentary constituency.
A separate BJP delegation met the CEO and alleged that BJD is making an attempt to rig all the 1,992 booths in Kendrapara. BJP said BJD vice-president Subash Chouhan was camping at Bagada village though he hails from Bargarh district.