Allegations of Model Code of Conduct Violation Surface in Odisha Ahead of Elections

Bhubaneswar: As the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections gain momentum in Odisha, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has leveled serious accusations against the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) for allegedly violating the model code of conduct. The BJP alleges that the BJD has resorted to distributing money to sway voters in Puri, sparking controversy in the coastal district.

Senior BJP leaders in Puri have pointed fingers at BJD candidate Umakanta Samantray of the Brahmagiri Assembly constituency, accusing him of orchestrating violations of the model code of conduct. The allegations include sending his wife to the constituency to influence voters through unfair and unethical means.

According to BJP leaders, Samantaray’s wife conducted meetings with officials, a clear violation of the poll code. One such meeting allegedly took place at a Kalyan Mandap in Atharanala area of Puri, where Community Resource Persons (CRP) and Master Book Keepers (MBK) from 11 panchayats under Puri Sadar block were reportedly summoned to be engaged in favor of the BJD.

Jayant Das, the president of BJP’s Puri district youth wing, stated that discussions were held at the meeting on how to influence voters and distribute money leading up to the elections. Despite informing the flying squad about the meeting intended for money distribution, Das claimed that officials arrived late at the venue, implying deliberate negligence.

In response, Dibakar Patra, the president of Puri BJD unit, refuted the allegations, labeling them as false and baseless. Patra claimed that the gathering at the Kalyan Mandap was merely a celebration of someone’s birthday and had no connection to the upcoming elections.

The accusations and counter-arguments highlight the intense political atmosphere prevailing in Odisha as parties gear up for the elections. However, such allegations of misconduct raise concerns about the integrity of the electoral process and the need for strict enforcement of the model code of conduct to ensure free and fair elections in the state.

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