Even though bye-election for Umerkote assembly constituency is now a few days away, the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) has ordered inquiries into several alleged violations of election code of conduct by ruling Biju Janata Dal.
Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party alleged that the BJD-led government announced populist welfare schemes, carried out local recruitments and used a large number of vehicles in campaigning.
CEO S. Srinivasan asked secretary of Health and Family welfare to send a factual report on violation of election code of conduct by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
Vice President of Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee Gurupada Nanda submitted a complaint that Chief Minister himself announced institution of treatment fund for BPL families who would be entitled to get Rs. 3 lakh for critical illness and the announcement would encourage poorer families to vote for ruling party.
The election authority had restrained the government from announcing any relief or development work for general public that violated code of conduct, but announcement of treatment fund was violation, Mr. Nanda pointed out.
In a complaint BJP vice president Ashok Sahu alleged that 35 MLAs, three MPs and 11 ministers belonging to BJD were camping in Umerkote and Nabrangpur while in the name of personal security as many as 250 police personnel had been deployed by the district police.
“More than 75 vehicles are engaged in electioneering by these people. As per conduct rules, the party and candidate concerned are supposed to inform details about vehicles to be used for electioneering and obtain permission accordingly. Neither government vehicles can be used nor can government department requisition these vehicles in name of law and order. These vehicles are in excess of eight vehicles for which BJD candidates is understood to have obtained permission,” Mr. Sahu charged.