Bhubaneswar: Ahead of the ensuing byelection to Bijepur Assembly constituency, the ruling BJD and BJP have got into a war of words over the recent seizure of cash in Odisha’s Bargarh district.
While the BJP has moved the CEO alleging that the cash seized by the police is meant for the BJD for its campaign in Bijepur, BJD has lodged a complaint with the CEO claiming that the seized cash is meant for the BJP.
— BJP Odisha (@BJP4Odisha) February 15, 2018
Talking to media persons after a BJP delegation submitted a memorandum to the CEO here on Sunday, BJP spokesperson Sajjan Sharma said his party had witnessed one instance of using black money by the BJD in Bijepur on Saturday after the police seized cash worth over Rs 40 lakh.
Alleging that the police is hand in glove with the BJD in Bijepur, Sharma said the Padmapur SDPO Laxmi Naranan Panda is behaving differently with the BJD, BJP and Congress leaders. It seems that the BJD has taken the SDPO on contract, he observed.
The BJP leader said he has brought the illegal activities of the employees of the Padmapur Notified Area Council (NAC) to the notice of the CEO. People in Padmapur have alleged that the NAC staffs are engaged in the distribution of money by the BJD to woo the voters. “We requested the CEO to urgently intervene in the matter and take necessary step to stop the distribution of money and arrest the erring NAC employees,” he added.
Hon’ble MLA Dr. Arun Kumar Sahu , State BYJD President Sj. Amaresh Patri & Other Yuva/Chhatra Leaders of BJD Attended Final Match of Laumunda Football Tournament At Laumunda GP of Bijepur Block. pic.twitter.com/CaFfsUwIwT
— Biju Yuva Janta Dal (@BYJD_Odisha) February 13, 2018
Refuting these allegations as false and baseless, senior BJD leader and party spokesperson Surya Narayan Patro said the two persons from whom police had seized cash worth Rs 40.50 lakhs at Mahulapali, one of them is an active member of the Bajrang Dal. “The duo, arrested by the police, is working on behalf of the BJP in Bijepur constituency and distributing money among the people. We demand that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Income Tax officials raid their houses, seize cash and take appropriate action against them. Besides, police should take action against them as per the election rules,” said Patro after submitting a memorandum to this effect to the CEO.
However, the Paschima Pranta Sangathan of the VHP, in a release later in the day refuted the allegations of the BJD.
In the release, the Sangathan made it clear that the two arrested persons from whom the police has seized the cash, are in no way connected to VHP.
Meanwhile, a high-level meeting was presided over by the IG, Northern Range, Sushant Kumar Nath at the Collector’s conference hall in Bargarh in the presence of the SPs of Bargarh and Sambalpur the locals and members of the Bargarh business community.
At the meeting, the IG urged the people not be lured by the money offered to them by the political parties and advised them to select the candidate of their choice.