Bhubaneswar: The tug-of-war between the ruling BJD and rival BJP ahead of the Bijepur Assembly segment by-election escalated Monday, as both the parties knocked the door of the Election Commission targeting each other.
The BJD moved the office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Monday alleging that news telecast by a regional TV channel is deliberately favouring BJP with a view to help the saffron party win the ensuing election. The party pleaded before the CEO to treat such news as ‘paid news’ and add the entire expenditure incurred by the TV channel in this regard to the account of the BJP candidate, Ashok Panigrahi. It also demanded that the EC take necessary and appropriate action against the news channel.
On behalf of the BJD, party MP and spokesman Pratap Deb and party vice-president and minister Surya Narayan Patro moved the office of CEO. The duo submitted a memorandum seeking appropriate action against the news channel and termed the news beamed by it ‘a blatant violation of model code of conduct’.
“On the pretext of news collection in the run-up to the Bijepur by-election, OTV is telecasting various programmes against the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), including panel discussions, showing photographs and scrolls among others that appear to be paid news,” Patro later told the media at party headquarters here.
On the other hand, the BJP also moved the office of the CEO against the BJD alleging violation of model code of conduct.
The BJP members, led by party’s state vice-president Samir Mohanty, submitted a memorandum to the office of the CEO accusing the ruling dispensation of violating the model code of conduct. The saffron party alleged that despite the imposition of model code of conduct, CDPOs and other officials working under Women and Child Development Department are distributing cheques to SHGs under Mission Shakti programme in Bijepur constituency. They sought appropriate action against concerned officials as well as the ruling party in this regard.
When contacted, leaders of both the parties rubbished allegations leveled against each other.
Meanwhile, OTV has issued a clarification claiming that allegations made by the BJD against it are “false and baseless”, as the news channel doesn’t believe in the concept of ‘paid news’.