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Blame game on poll eve in Kendrapara
Armed police deployment in Kendrapara district headquarters town ahead of the civic poll. Telegraph picture

Kendrapara, Nov. 14: Charges and counter-charges are being traded by political parties in the run up to tomorrow’s municipality polls here.

Cases of intimidation of voters with show of muscle power have been reported from specific sensitive urban wards. Moreover, reports also indicate that the aspiring candidates are trying their best to induce voters through cash and kind.

The Congress today lodged a complaint with the state election commission accusing the ruling BJD of using money to woo voters. “Minister Sharada Prasanna Nayak and MLA Alekh Jena were allegedly caught red-handed by the voters in Kendrapara Municipality’s ward No. 13 while they were offering monetary inducement to some people. People detained both the BJD leaders. But, instead of booking the culprits under the People’s Representation Act, police rescued the duo. We have lodged written complaints with the district police and the state election commission in this regard,” said Debendra Nath Sharma, president of the district Congress committee.

The BJD, however, dismissed the charges and described it as a “cheap publicity stunt” to deflect public opinion.

“Both Nayak and Jena were on a visit to the ward to meet with an old acquaintance. The charges labelled against them are baseless and concocted,” said Krutibash Patra, chief of the BJD’s district wing.

Inspector of Kendrapara police station Ranjan Kumar Dey said: “We have received a complaint in this regard. The matter is being investigated.”

Security has been stepped up in the township ahead of tomorrow’s municipality polls.

“The district police have undertaken precautionary measures to thwart possible eruption of poll-related violence and breach of peace,” said Kendrapara superintendent of police Narasingha Bhol. Of the 32 polling booths in Kendrapara, 19 have been identified as sensitive. Armed police have been deployed in trouble-prone areas. Six mobile patrolling units were maintaining vigil on the situation, said Bhol. The BJD has also lodged a complaint with the state election commission alleging that the Congress has resorted to hire law-breakers to hijack the popular mandate of the people.

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