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Pradhan meets SEC, alleges police, Govt officials helping ruling party in rural election




 Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan today urged the State Election Commission to include WhatsApp and telegram messages of government officials during the ongoing panchayat elections in State even as the State Unit alleged that a senior police official -- Additional Director General of Police, Law and Order, Binayananda Jha – was providing protection to and showed undue favours to BJD supported anti-social elements during the ongoing rural polls in State.

Pradhan today met the SEC and alleged that a senior police official was pressurizing his subordinates to ensure the victory of BJD candidates.

He said he has no objection if anyone worked for the ruling party. “But the ruling party has no right to use those government officials who are paid from the taxes  the poor people of the State pay,” Pradhan said.
This is undemocratic, unconstitutional and against the service code of government employees, Pradhan added.
Earlier today BJP spokesperson Sajjan Sharma led a delegation to the State Election Commission (SEC) to lodge its complaints of poll code violation by Jha. He told reporters that the police was not impartial and was harassing opposition activists.
“Jha is one of the members of the 4-member coterie of the “Third Floor” under whose direction police has been tormenting the BJP workers and leaders across Odisha. While some of our party workers and leaders have been beaten up black and blue, others have been physically and mentally harassed by the police,” Sharma alleged before the poll panel. He told newsmen later that Jha provided protection to the anti-socials as directed by the “Third Floor.”
“We have urged the SEC to take necessary action by directing the Home department to immediately relieve him from his duty at the earliest,” Sharma demanded.
Sharma said, “BJP has sufficient evidences against Jha which were undemocratic, unconstitutional and violation of rules.”
The BJP spokesman lauded the SEC for directing the police to ensure free and fair election and curb violence during polls.
However, BJD spokesman Sashibhusan Behera criticized the BJP for alleging involvement of senior IAS officers in the poll process and trying to influence the rural elections. He said the BJP has become overenthusiastic over its ‘temporary’ success and leveling baseless charges against the ruling party.
“It is deplorable that the BJP is leveling baseless charges against administrative officers. The IAS officer against whom the BJP level charges are appointed by the President of India and have gone through scrutiny,” said Behera. 





Editorial

Précis 2017
From asking his party men to ‘live a simple life and serve the people’ to taunting the BJP for its ‘crocodile tears’, Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik has not only become politically invincible, he seems to be so in the coming years too.

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