KENDRAPARA: Principal of a junior college in Kendrapara has landed in trouble for allegedly canvassing for a sarpanch candidate in the upcoming panchayat elections.
Bikash Chandra Das, principal of government-run Maa Tarini Higher Secondary School at Jayachandrapur village in Mahakalapada block, was suspended by Kendrapara Sub-Collector Niranjan Behera on Tuesday for organising an election meeting on the college premises.
Das had reportedly allowed the meeting to be held in the college hall for Priyanka Samal, the sarpanch candidate of Gadaromita gram panchayat, on Sunday. The principal along with sub-divisional police officer (SDPO) of Salipur Prasant Majhi participated in the meeting which was addressed by Samal seeking votes.
A video of the meeting went viral on social media following which the State Election Commission directed the Kendrapara Collector to investigate the matter and take necessary action.
Sub-Collector Behera said during investigation, it was found that the principal of the junior college and the police officer organised a meeting for the sarpanch candidate by violating the model code of conduct. A feast was also organised on the college premises after the meeting.
"The principal was found guilty of openly canvassing for a prospective candidate. He was placed under suspension for violating the model code of conduct and service code," Behera informed. The district administration has also written a letter to the Odisha DGP Sunil Kumar Bansal to take action against the SDPO for violating the model code of conduct and service code.
An FIR has been filed against the suspended principal and the police officer in Marsaghai police station under section 188 (Disobedience to an order lawfully promulgated by a public servant) of the IPC, the Sub-Collector added.