Odisha Elections 2024: Cash-For-Ticket Charges Cast Shadow Over Candidate Selection

Bhubaneswar: As Odisha gears up for the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections, cash-for-ticket allegations against leaders of major political parties have triggered a state-wide controversy. It is alleged that money is being collected from ticket seekers in all major political parties ahead of the twin elections. Apart from ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD), opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress are also hit by charges of financial deals for securing nomination to contest the upcoming polls. After being denied tickets, several aspirants have accused their leaders of collecting money for selecting candidates.

Kalu Episode In BJP

Following denial of ticket by BJP for Khurda Assembly seat, Kalu Charan Khandayatray has not only resigned from the party but also brought serious allegation against senior leader and Bhubaneswar MP Aparajita Sarangi. Spewing venom at Aparajita, Kalu has alleged that she had sought Rs two crore from him for getting party ticket for Khurda Assembly seat. As he refused to pay the money, the BJP MP candidate for Bhubaneswar sold the ticket to Prashant Jagdev, he alleged. Announcing his decision to contest the upcoming election as an independent candidate, Kalu has launched a campaign against Aparajita, asking people to ensure her defeat.

Multi-Crore Deals For BJD Ticket

Role of money in selection of candidates and ticket allocation in the ruling BJD has remained a burning topic for discussion in political circles. Former Laxmipur MLA Kailash Kulesika was in news after he made an explosive allegation against BJD. He alleged that Prabhu Jani managed to secure nomination from the regional party after paying a hefty amount. The ex-legislator alleged that a deal for Rs five to six crore was finalised to get ticket for Laxmipur Assembly seat. Stating that he had gone to BJD after being promised ticket to contest election, Kulesika claimed that the ruling party betrayed him because of money. Subsequently, he is contesting from Laxmipur Assembly constituency as a BJP candidate.

Gamang Story In Congress

Voicing resentment over denial of Congress ticket, Sishir Gamang, son of former Chief Minister Giridhar Gamang, has alleged that not a single member of his family was nominated by the grand old party because of secret financial deals. Sishir, who was an aspirant for Nabarangpur Lok Sabha seat, accused Congress leaders of manipulating the process of candidate selection.
Apart from Sishir, several other Congress leaders have also made allegations of cash being collected for ticket. Sarat Chandra Buruda, who was an aspirant of Congress ticket from Chitrakonda Assembly seat, has alleged that he was asked to pay Rs 40 lakh to get party nomination. As he was unable to pay the money, he was denied party ticket, Buruda alleged.

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