Villagers detain govt officials  for ‘violating’ code of conduct

Irate villagers detained the officials for three hours accusing them of violating the model code of conduct.

Published: 03rd February 2022 06:49 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd February 2022 06:49 AM   |  A+A-

Villagers stop the vehicle of government officials in Naugaon’s Osakana | Express

Villagers stop the vehicle of government officials in Naugaon’s Osakana. (Photo | Express)

By Express News Service

JAGATSINGHPUR:  Tension flared up in Osakana within Naugaon police limits on Wednesday after government officials were allegedly found influencing members of women self-help groups (SHGs) to vote in favour of BJD-backed candidates in the three-tier panchayat elections.

Irate villagers detained the officials for three hours accusing them of violating the model code of conduct. On the day, a team comprising block project coordinator Sashank Swain and veterinary assistant surgeon Udaybhanu Rout had gone to Osakana to hold discussion with women SHGs on availing loan for goat and poultry farms.  The officials allegedly tried to influence the SHG members to vote in favour of BJD supported sarpanch and panchayat samiti candidates with the lure of exempting the loan amount. 

On being informed, villagers rushed to the spot and detained Swain, Rout, additional veterinary surgeon Suvendu Lenka and secretary of SHG Jyoti Mahasangha Ranjubala Muduli. Later, Naugaon police led by sub-inspector Bibhuti Biswal went to the village and rescued the officials. 

Sources said besides imparting skill development training and providing loans to women, the SHGs also help in implementation of key government schemes in villages. The SHGs are now playing a vital role in the rural polls and canvassing for BJD candidates in different areas of the district.

Villagers Khudiram Nayak, Prahallad Nayak and Bibhuti Puhan alleged that the officials were distributing pushing cards and leaflets of ruling party supported candidates to SHG members in violation of the model code of conduct. Leaflets and cards were also recovered from their vehicle.

However, Rout refuted the allegations and claimed some villagers deliberately kept the cards and leaflets in their vehicle to frame them and make it an election issue. Demanding action against the officials for violating the code of conduct, the villagers lodged an FIR in the local police station in this connection.
Police said investigation is underway.

Headmaster suspended for photo on poll poster
Bhawanipatna: Headmaster of a government-aided primary school was placed under suspension after his photo surfaced on the election banner of his wife who is contesting for sarpanch post.  Jagyanseni Panda is a sarpanch candidate for Budhidar panchayat under Junagarh block. Her husband, Sanjaya Panda, headmaster of Sankrimal Primary School, featured on the banner of her election campaign with folded hands, violating the model code of conduct which prohibits government employees from getting involved in election campaigns. The block education officer of Junagarh suspended Sanjaya who has been asked to not leave the headquarters. 


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