Bhubaneswar, Oct 26 (SocialNews.XYZ) A high-level delegation of BJP led by Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Wednesday submitted a memorandum to the Election Commission of India (ECI), accusing the Naveen Patnaik-led BJD of distributing money to lure voters ahead of the bypoll in Dhamnagar Assembly constituency in Bhadrak district.
The delegation, which also included BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra and senior leader Om Pathak, visited the ECI office in Delhi on Wednesday afternoon and submitted the memorandum.
Speaking to mediapersons outside the ECI office, Pradhan said the Bhadrak district administration is hand in glove with the BJD.
"Though we had informed the chief electoral officer (CEO) of Odisha about the distribution of money by the ruling party, the CEO said today that a forensic probe has been launched into the incident. This means no action will be taken until the forensic report comes," he said.
Moreover, the CEO himself is the secretary of the Panchayati Raj department, which is a conflict of interest. So the BJP took the matter to the ECI, he added.
In the memorandum, the BJP said that in another blatant bid to bribe the voters, senior BJD leaders promised to give Rs 1 crore to the panchayats voting in favour of the BJD candidate.
"It is highly unfortunate that both the instances of violation of MCC and corrupt practices were promptly brought to the notice of the CEO, Odisha, by our party, with documentary evidence but no action has been taken so far by the CEO which emboldens the ruling BJD to violate the election code," the BJP said.
The party urged the ECI to take punitive action against those attempting to bribe the voters and those who actually are bribing the voters by distributing cash on behalf of the BJD candidate and his party.
On the other hand, the BJD has also submitted a memorandum before the CEO accusing the BJP of trying to influence the voters by offering money and other means.
Earlier on Wednesday, the CEO, S.K. Lohani, had informed that a case has been registered in connection with the alleged distribution of cash by two women, while another case has been registered against a man in connection with his offer to provide Rs 1 crore to each panchayat.
Appropriate action has been initiated in the two cases on receipt of specific complainant following examination of video footage for violation of model code of conduct. Action will be taken after investigation, he said.