Khurda,14/04/19:As electoral battle keeps Odisha on fire ahead of the remaining three rounds of elections, incidents of pre-poll violence have begun to hit the State politics. Just hours after pre-poll violence erupted in Bolangir, a well-known leader of Khurda BJP unit was shot dead by an unidentified miscreant in the town late Sunday night.
Following the incident, the BJP has called for Khurda bandh from 8 am to 2 pm today.
According to information, a bike-borne miscrent fired three rounds of bullets and killed BJP’s Khurda Mandal president Manguli Jena near party’s Nabina Bag office in the town.
Khurda BJP MLA candidate Kalu Khandayatra who witnessed the incident said, “As Jena was about to leave us after a meeting, we were discussing with him on the road while suddenly, a person riding a scooty came and shot two rounds of bullets at him and also opened fire another round of bullet at me. Even though I escaped unhurt, Jena was killed.”
Asked about the reason behind the incident, Khandayatra said that he could not identify the accused who had covered his head with a helmet but blamed that it could be BJD’s goodaraj to eliminate him.
Bhubaneswar,14/04/19:With the conclusion of first phase polls, the State unit of BJP has levelled serious allegations of ostracisation of its party workers in Chikiti Assembly constituency of Ganjam district.
BJP candidate from the constituency, Manoranjan Samantaray has alleged that BJD activists have ostracised his supporters and agents at several places of the Assembly segment after the conclusion of first phase elections.
In a video clip, one G Debendra, a supporter of Samantaray was seen narrating the ordeal how BJD workers have been threatening and ostracised him for campaigning for the BJP candidate.
“Neither we are being allowed to use village water, nor are we allowed to buy ration. No one is also communicating with us and the only reason for that is, we are supporting a different party other than BJD,” said complainant G Debendra.
Not only Debendra, but BJD activists have also resorted to threatening BJP agents and workers by forcibly collecting Rs 1000 from them as penalty for supporting the saffron party.
“At least six agents of our party in Govindpur village have been penalised with Rs 1000 while many others have been ostracised. I too was also attacked by BJD activists. We demand that something needs to be done to end this hooligansim right away,” said BJP candidate Manoranjan Samantaray.
Jajpur,14/04/19: Continuing with its crackdown on suspect money ahead of the polls, an election flying squad today seized unaccounted cash worth over Rs 15 lakh from a car in Garamia area in Jajpur district.
The cash seizure was made by the officials during a vehicle check which was being conducted with Sukinda Police’s assistance on a road connecting Rengali late in the night. After intercepting a car boarded by three persons and carrying out a search of it, the officials came across cash worth Rs 15.31 lakh and seized those.
While the interrogation of the held trio is underway to find out the source of the cash, it is being suspected that the money was being sent for poll expenditure.
Notably, in a similar incident in the same night election flying squad officials had seized Rs 95,000 from a SUV under Bangiriposhi Assembly constituency in Mayurbhanj district.
Aska,14/04/19: Biju Janata Dal (BJD) President and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday asked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to announce who is their CM candidate in the ongoing elections in the state.
Addressing public meeting in Nayagarh district’s Daspalla today Patnaik said, “The people of Odisha want to know who BJP’s chief ministerial candidate is. From which constituency the candidate is contesting the polls. Why the BJP fears to declare their CM candidate (?)”.
“They (BJP leaders) are talking about double engine. But they did not come to Odisha during natural disasters like cyclonic storm Phailin, Hudhud, Titli, drought and flood. BJP’s Delhi engine visited Andhra Pradesh after Titli, but did not visit Odisha,” he added.
Speaking about KALIA scheme, Naveen said so far 40 lakh farmers have been benefited from the scheme in Odisha, but the BJP at the Centre is conspiring to the financial assistance under the scheme.
“No one can stop the KALIA scheme till I am alive. On the day one of formation of BJD government, farmers will get two instalments (Rs 10,000) of KALIA funds at a single go,” the BJD supremo said.
Highlighting the Mission Shakti, Patnaik said, “This is my favourite scheme. Women are the strength of society and double engine of development. We have declared in our election manifesto to provide works worth Rs 5,000 crore to Mission Shakti workers.”
“I am always with you. Your Chief Minister is always with you. You are my family and I will serve you till my last breath,” Naveen repeated.
Malkangiri,13/04/19:The first phase polls in Odisha not only covered difficult terrains, but also some of the most deadly areas which are infested by Left Wing Extremism. Polling officials in Malkangiri have set an example by remaining unfazed in the face of danger and performing their duty of upholding the sanctity of the election process to the hilt.
The case in point being a group of 36 polling officials who had to travel 15 kms on foot while returning from their designated booths in the Maoist-infested Mudulipada area of Malkangiri district. The main challenge for them was to ensure the safety of the EVMs.With threat of a Maoist ambush looming large, the officials had to walk rather than take a vehicle which could have been an easy target of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).
“We walked with the SOG jawans. The conditions were difficult but the jawans kept us motivated,” a polling officer said.
The officials reportedly walked for 15 Km through the dense forest areas at an altitude of 1,000 feet above sea level to bring back the EVM safely to the Collector’s office.
“We are very scared but somehow we managed to walk 14 to 15 km and reached our destination at around 5 am in the morning,” another polling officer said.
Maoists had called for a poll boycott in the area and so the risk involved in putting up EVMs and VVPATs as well as transferring them back to the collector’s office was huge, but a job perfectly carried out by the officials.
“We took a lot of risk to complete our work. The SOG jawans kept our spirit up and helped us to stay safe. They probably received some intelligence and so we had to halt in between. It started raining while we were sleeping. We managed to save the EVMs by covering them with tarpaulin,” said a polling officer.
Chief Electoral Officer(CEO) Surendra Kumar said, ” The polling officers conducted the voting process very smoothly for which we are grateful to them.”
DGP in-charge Bijay Kumar Sharma said, “It was big challenge to conduct elections in Maoist affected areas but it has been conducted properly.”
Bhubaneswar,12/04/19:Former spokesperson of Odisha unit of Congress party Sonali Sahoo joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) here today.
Sahoo, who had quit the Grand Old Party yesterday, joined the saffron fold at party’s state headquarters here. Many senior party leaders including Dharmendra Pradhan and Giridhar Gamming welcomed Sonali to BJP.
Notably, Sahoo left the Congress party as she was unhappy over party tickets allotment. She was aspiring for a ticket to contest the 2019 election from Khordha Assembly Constituency but the party had refused for it.
It is worthwhile to mention here that state Mahila Congress president Sumitra Jena also left the party on April 9 expressing her displeasure over not getting a ticket to contest the elections. Later, she joined the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on the same day.
Keonjhar,12/04/19:BJP national president Amit Shah on Friday addressed the party’s Vijay Sankalp Samvesh in Keonjhar to bolster the prospects of the party candidates for the second-phase elections in Odisha.
Addressing the election rally at Medical Ground here, the BJP chief came down heavily on the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) while raking up the issue of corruption, unemployment, and absence of doctors in government hospitals.
Shah also slammed the Congress and the BJD for keeping people poor in the State. “They ruled Odisha for maximum times but Odisha is lagging behind. Once BJP is voted to power, Odisha will be No 1 State in the country,” Shah said. He also added that all chit fund accused will be sent to jail if the saffron party is voted to power.
Urging the people to overthrow the incumbent government, Shah said, “In the next five years, we will ensure that no youth steps out of the state in search of jobs. We will usher development not only in Keonjhar but also in the entire State.”
It may be mentioned here that Shah is again scheduled to visit Odisha on April 17 to address two rallies at Mahisapata in Dhenkanal district and Badamba Tennis Ground in Cuttack district.
Notably, Keonjhar, Sambalpur and Cuttack Lok Sabha constituencies and the corresponding Assembly segments will go to polls in the third phase on April 23.