Bhubaneswar: The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has brought a slew of serious allegations against the leaders and workers of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for indulging in electoral malpractices during the ongoing campaigning in the Dhamnagar assembly bye-election.
A delegation of the BJD comprising party MPs Chandra Sekhar Sahoo, Niranjan Nishi, Muzibullah Khan, and Sasmit Patra on Thursday submitted a memorandum to the Chief Election Commissioner at the Election Commission of India (ECI) in New Delhi.
In the memorandum, the BJD apart from alleging that BJP leaders and workers in Odisha are indulging in electoral malpractices during the ongoing campaigning in the Dhamnagar Assembly by-poll in Odisha are wilfully and maliciously tarnishing and defaming the image of Mission Shakti Women Self Help Group members which Is extremely sad and unfortunate.
The following are the specific complaints brought to the notice of the Chief Election Commissioner by the BJD delegation:
- Fake and fictitious videos are being manufactured by Odisha BJP leaders and being circulated in social media stating that Mission Shakti (Women Self Help Group) members or popularly known as Mission Shakti Maa are distributing money in this election. Odisha has about 70 lakh women as members in the Women Self Help Groups of Mission Shakti across 6 lakh Women Self Help Groups. The Odisha BJP is not only defaming them and tarnishing their image but also doing a great disservice to the women of Odisha and the nation. Especially when they are growing socio-economically and being champions of women’s empowerment. The statements by the Odisha BJP leaders defaming and tarnishing the image of the Mission Shakti women members of circulating money in the election marks a new low in electoral politics in India.
- Huge money power is being used by Odisha BJP leaders and workers to illegally Influence the voters of Dhamnagar. Whenever the Odisha BJP realizes its upcoming electoral defeat as is in the case of the Dhamnagar Assembly by-poll, they immediately start pumping illegal cash to influence voters. In the past several elections, including the 2022 Panchayat and Urban Local Body elections, a huge cache of cash from Odisha BJP leaders has been seized.
- The Odisha BJP has become an expert in vilifying and tarnishing the image of the local administration. By indulging in fake and false allegations against the local administration, they are trying to create a fear psychosis in the local administration with the intent to mentally harass them from executing their jobs in a free and fair manner. This is extremely shocking as its becoming a pattern by the Odisha BJP in any election in Odisha.
The BJD has made the following demands before the Election Commission of India:
- The Odisha BJP leaders be restrained from tarnishing the image and defaming the 70 lakh Mission Shakti members of Odisha by making such baseless and false statements. The Election Commission of India must intervene to ensure that fake videos being circulated against the Mission Shakti members are stopped.
- Strict action and strong vigilance must be undertaken in the Dhamnagar by-poll by the Election Commission of India to ensure that the Odisha BJP leaders and workers do not succeed in illegally influencing voters through money power.
- The Odisha BP leaders should be restrained from using media platforms to create a fear psychosis in the local administration by leveling false and concocted allegations against the local administration so that the administration can undertake its work with fear or favour.
The BJD delegation has sought the cooperation of the Election Commission of India and appropriate action on its demands.