ROURKELA: Hours after BJD Rajya Sabha Member Sasmit Patra was accused of violating the model code of conduct, supporters of the ruling party caught the BJP candidate for Sundargarh-A zilla parishad (ZP) seat with Rs 45,000 on Wednesday night and handed him over to police.
General secretary of BJD Yogesh Singh claimed that on being informed about BJP ZP candidate Pravin Naik distributing money at Kinjirma at around 11 pm, some BJD supporters rushed to the spot. Naik and his aide Hemant Patel tried to flee in a four-wheeler but were intercepted and handed over to police. Cash of Rs 45,000 was recovered from their possession. Singh said separate complaints were lodged with the Sadar police and the State Election Commission (SEC).
Confirming the seizure of cash and the four-wheeler, Sundargarh SP Sagarika Nath said the BJP candidate was released on PR Bond and an appropriate report would be sent to the SEC. However, BJP’s Sundargarh MLA Kusum Tete claimed that Naik was returning home after meeting her at Bhasma police station when some BJD supporters enacted a drama by intercepting him at Kinjirma and in a planned manner, put the cash in his vehicle.
On Wednesday night, Tete was in Bhasma police station for release of three BJP workers who were detained for loitering suspiciously during the silence period. Earlier on the day, BJP supporters had raised a hue and cry after Patra was found campaigning for BJD candidates in some pockets of Tangarpali block during the silence period. Tete even shot off a letter to the SEC against the BJD MP. Meanwhile, the last phase polling for six ZP seats in Tangarpali, Sadar and Gurundia blocks concluded on Thursday.