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Election cell acts tough on complaints

- Scores of allegations reach civic body doors, while police initiate action for sporting banners without permission

Bhubaneswar, April 6: The civic body’s election cell today received various complaints related to poll code violations.

The complaints ranged from sponsoring feasts by candidates contesting to woo voters, using a community centre by the BJD, deploying officials from chief minister’s office to paying bills by the works department to benefit BJD workers.

The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation’s election cell has acted upon 22 complaints. As many as twelve complaints were forwarded by the home (election) department alone. One was reported by the general election observer and two were lodged by the public.

On March 29, a member of the Aam Aadmi Party filed a complaint against deployment of staff of the chief minister’s office and office of the government chief whip on election duty. Acting upon the complaint, the district election officer has asked the local sub-collector not to engage any official from the office of the chief minister or any other minister in election duty.

Two allegations were made in regard to feasts organised by MLA candidates in Bhubaneswar-Ekamra Ashok Chandra Panda and Bhubaneswar-North Assembly constituency Priyadarshi Mishra.

However, reports filed by the local police officials said these were baseless allegations.

Following a complaint registered with the revenue divisional commissioner’s office regarding utilisation of government land and building by the BJD, the municipal corporation removed posters from the walls of the Unit-I Girls’ High School and banners from Unit-VI and Nayapalli areas.

Yesterday, officials of the corporation dismantled nine hoardings of about 500sqft each on the new airport road from Ekamra Square on a directive from the district election officer.

The hoardings were put up by Biju Janata Dal, Bharatiya Janata Party, Ama Odisha Party and Aam Aadmi Party.

In another drive on April 3, posters were removed from Kalpana-Badagada stretch.

Interestingly, a complaint was lodged on April 3 on payment of a bill made to benefit BJD supporters by the public works department. But a probe revealed that the project was an ongoing one and bills were actually paid to government-approved contractors.

On an allegation about establishment of a temporary party office of the BJD inside Saraswati Sishu Vidya Mandir in front of hostel No. 5 of the Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology on April 3, the enforcement officials acted immediately and removed the structure.

Senior nodal officer and additional district magistrate Manoj Kumar Patnaik said: “Each and every complaint is being probed in a fair manner and follow-up actions are being taken accordingly.”