Kendrapara, May 13 (LocalWire): The BJD candidate from Patkura Assembly constituency, Sabitri Agarwalla, was recently photographed distributing government relief to cyclone-affected villagers along with government officials at the primary agriculture cooperative society in Nahang village, violating the model code of conduct.
Sudhanshu Sekhar Ray, the election agent of BJP candidate Bijay Mohapatra, alleged violation of model code of conduct and lodged a complaint against Sabitri Agrawalla with the Chief Election Commission, New Delhi, state Election Commission, Bhubaneswar and returning officer of Patkura Assembly seat, Kendrapara.
Ray stated that the act of the BJD candidate amounted to influencing the voters to exercise their voting rights in her favour.
She is seen in a photograph with a five hundred currency note and rice and other government relief items while standing with the block nodal officer and other government officials.
The BDO, Block Nodal Officer and others were present when Agarwalla was distributing relief.
This amounts to bribery of voters which is punishable under section 171 (b) and 171 (c) of IPC, he wrote.
Agrawalla, however, denied the charge that she was trying to influence the voters.
‘When I was going to village Nahanga to campaign, a woman requested me to take a photo with her and I was photographed with her near the society while she was getting money and relief items from the officials. I never handed her any money.
BJP is trying to tarnish my image with an ulterior motive by levelling false allegations against me.’
Patkura Assembly poll was countermanded following the death of 82-year-old BJD candidate Bed Prakash Agarwalla on 20 April. Later BJD nominated his widow Sabitri Agrawalla to contest from Patkura.
The ECI had earlier issued a fresh polling schedule for election in Patkura Assembly segment on 19 May but it was postponed by two months due to Cyclone Fani.
Sabitri is fighting against BJP’s Bijay Mohapatra and Congress candidate Jayant Mohanty.