BJP, Cong target Odisha minister over bribe remark

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Bhubaneswar, March 14 (IANS) The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress on Thursday demanded action against Odisha Health Minister Pratap Jena for allegedly saying that his party would give money to voters.

They requested the Election Commission (EC) to debar Jena from contesting elections in the state for violating the model code of conduct.

Addressing a meeting in Salepur area of Cuttack on Wednesday, the Health Minister allegedly said the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) would give Rs 35 lakh in cash to the panchayat and Rs 15 lakh to the booth, which would give maximum number of votes to local BJD candidate Prasant Behera.

A delegation of the state BJP submitted a memorandum to the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) on Thursday and demanded action against Jena for the bribe statement.

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State BJP vice-president Sameer Mohanty said they apprised the CEO about the violation of the model code of conduct by Jena and demanded his prosecution under the Indian Penal Code.

Besides, the Cuttack district unit of BJP filed an FIR against Jena at Salepur police station.

Congress media cell chairman Satya Prakash Nayak said the Minister tried to lure voters by saying that panchayats, which would give the maximum number of vote to local BJD candidate will get Rs 35 lakh each.

He demanded that the Election Commission initiate strong action against the BJD Minister and urged not to allow Jena to contest elections.

–IANS

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