Poll Code Violation Slur On Sambit Patra, FIR Lodged

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Congress on Tuesday petitioned Chief Electoral Officer Surendra Kumar over use of Jagannath’s idol during a poll rally by Sambit Patra, BJP’s Lok Sabha candidate from Puri.

The six-member team alleged that by using the idol of Lord Jagannath during a rally from Bhubaneswar to Puri and a picture of the deity on his social media account, Patra had violated the model code of conduct.

“When it has been mentioned by Election Commission of India that no election can be fought on the basis of any religion, caste, creed or culture, the election rally of Dr Sambit Patra and the photographs thereof clearly shows violation of the model code of conduct,” the state unit Congress said.

The BJP national spokesperson defended himself saying that it was a gift from an admirer. “As an Odia and devotee of Lord Jagannath, I could not refuse it,” he said.

The BJD has also accused Patra and BJP of politics over religion and exploiting the sentiments of people. City president Sabyasachi Mohapatra lodged a complaint with Singhadwar police station in this regard and demanded stringent action against him.

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