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Naveen Patnaik-led BJD Govt Misusing State Machinery to Win Bijepur Bypolls, BJP Tells EC

A BJP delegation, led by senior party leader Dharmendra Pradhan, submitted a memorandum to the office of the Chief Election Commissioner with their complaint on Tuesday.

Uday Singh Rana | News18.com

Updated:January 30, 2018, 5:41 PM IST
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Naveen Patnaik-led BJD Govt Misusing State Machinery to Win Bijepur Bypolls, BJP Tells EC
File photo of oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan. (Image: PTI)
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New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday alleged that the Naveen Patnaik-led Biju Janata Dal (BJD) was misusing state machinery to influence the upcoming Bijepur bypoll scheduled for February 24. A BJP delegation, led by senior party leader Dharmendra Pradhan, submitted a memorandum to the office of the Chief Election Commissioner with their complaint on Tuesday.

"We would like to bring to your kind notice, the rampant misuse of the state machinery and gross abuse of muscle power by the ruling Biju Janta Dal (BJD) with a view to swing the bye elections in their favour by use of both inducements and coercion," the BJP memorandum to the Election Commission of India (ECI) read.

According to the BJP's allegations, the Odisha government had initiated inducements worth Rs 1250 crore with a view to swing the bypolls in their favor. "With the bye elections in mind, the state government, in the recent two to three months has announced schemes in excess of Rs 1250 crore without budgetary provisions targeted to further its poll prospects. Sensing imminent bye-elections, the GangadharMeher Lift Canal system and the ParvatiGiri Mega Lift irrigation project with the stated intention to benefit the rain fed and drought prone areas of Bijepur were announced a month after the death of the sitting MLA Shri SubalSahu. Further, two bridges and one power sub-station in Bijepur were inaugurated by the Chief Minister on October 2017 and an announcement to construct a Road-overBridge at Barpali Level crossing falling under the Bijepur Assembly constituency was made,” the BJP claimed.

The party further alleged that the district administration and police officers of Bargarh district in Odisha were being used to frighten BJP workers and dampen their spirits by registering "false and malafide cases" against them. "A striking instance of breakdown of law and order was witnessed on 7.1.18 when gunshots were fired at a BJP activist ShriManoranjanMeher’sresidence in Pada village of Bijepur block with amazing impunity. No action has been taken by the district police officials to nab the perpetrators of this act, vindicating our allegations in the representation dated 3.11.17."
| Edited by: Bijaya Das
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