22 February, Bhubaneswar
The leaders of the BJD and the BJP indulged in a mudslinging game on the concluding day of the campaign on Thursday for by election to Bijepur Assembly seat to be held on February 24.
Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan alleged at a press conference at Bargarh that five officers of the chief minister’s office have sent 100 selected officers to Bijepur to influence the Bijepur by election.
He demanded the Chief Electoral Officer to keep the five officers under surveillance and check their whatsapp, call details to ensure a free and fair election.
Mr Pradhan named chief minister’s Personal Assistant K Pandian, Roopa Roshan Sahu, D S Kuttey, Gopabandhu Das and P K Mohapatra all attached to the CM’s office for working for the BJD party in the by election.
The BJP, he said is fighting the by election with the officials of the state government and not with the BJD as the officials have monitoring, supervising and influencing the voters in favour of the ruling BJD candidate The Union Minister also demanded to keep state Labour Minister Sushant Singh away from the constituency for next three days accusing him of creating creating a fear psychosis among the voters, which Mr Pradhan apprehended might create a law and order situation.
The Union Minister alleged that Mr Singh has criminal back ground and said Bijepur might witness large scale violence if the minister was allowed to stay in the constituency.
Some police officials were even making political statement and using the social media to favour the BJD candidate.