BJD Moves EC Over ‘Harassment’ Of Mission Shakti Leaders, ASHA & Anganwadi Workers

Bhubaneswar Odisha’s ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Thursday moved the state’s chief electoral officer (CEO), demanding action again BJP leaders and candidates for allegedly defaming and harassing ASHA, Anganwadi workers, and leaders of Mission Shakti.

“The past few days has seen a very dangerous strategy whereby Odisha BJP leaders and candidates are targeting the ASHA workers, Anganwadi workers, leaders of Mission Shakti and bringing false accusations against them,” the BJD delegation mentioned in the letter.

The delegation further alleged that this is being done a create a fear psychosis among the women working at the grassroots. “This is a gross violation of the model code of conduct and shows the uncouth behaviour and lack of respect and dignity in the Odisha BJP towards the women and those working at the grassroots. The accusation of being stooges of political parties is intended at creating a a fear psychosis and influencing them to to do their bidding in this election,” the letter further said.

“This goes against every tenet and principle of free and fair elections. This is against the very doctrine of a strong electoral and
democratic process,” it added.

This comes two days after the BJP accused BJD of using ASHAs, anganwadi workers and Mission Shakti Self Help Group members for their election campaign in violation of the model code of conduct. The state BJP had also taken up the issue with the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Odisha, alleging that ASHA workers were seen campaigning in Ganjam district and Chandbali in Bhadrak district.

While refuting the allegation, the BJD had attacked BJP for allegedly using underage children in their election campaign at Jatni.

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