A BJP delegation led by its general secretary Lekhashree Samantasinghar has petitioned Odisha’s Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) alleging that the BJD has used government officials to campaign for the ruling party’s candidate in the Dhamnagar Assembly bypoll.
The BJD claimed in its petition to the CEO that BJP leaders were threatening its workers for fear of defeat in the elections. The party urged the CEO to step up surveillance and ensure free and fair elections in the constituency.
The BJP claimed it had submitted videos and photos of government officials campaigning for the BJD in two places in the Dhamnagar constituency, including a female government official.
“A number of officers are campaigning for the BJD candidate even though they receive salaries from the state treasury,” Ms Samantasinghar said.
She also said two government officials were identified wearing BJD scarves on their shoulders while campaigning. “We demand strict action against the erring officials,” she said.
With barely a day left to campaign for the November 3 poll in Odisha’s Dhamnagar Assembly segment, both the ruling BJD and BJP have stepped up their vote-seeking efforts.
The Dhamnagar Assembly constituency has witnessed high-tension campaigns by leaders of the BJD, Congress, BJP and independent candidates.
A number of Odisha ministers and MLAs campaigned for BJD candidate Abanti Das, while rebel leader and independent candidate Rajendra Das was seen door-to-door.
Two union ministers, Dharmendra Pradhan and Bisheswar Tudu, campaigned for BJP candidate Suryabanshi Suraj for the second consecutive day on Saturday.
OPCC President Sarat Pattnayak and other senior congressional leaders campaigned for party candidate Baba Harekrushna Sethi.
“The people will bless Congress, which set up more than a dozen hospitals in Dhamnagar during his rule for the BJD government,” Pattnayak said.
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