Bhubaneswar: The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) Tuesday termed the intelligence report produced by the BJP leaders at a news conference here Monday suggesting Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to chose a safe seat from Western Odisha to contest the election as ‘fake and fabricated’.
The state unit of BJP Monday produced an intelligence report reportedly from the state Intelligence Bureau wherein the Chief Minister was advised to contest any one of the four Assembly seats in Western Odisha as his home constituency Hinjili is ‘no more safe’ for him.
Patnaik, who has been contesting from Hinjili in South Odisha since 2000 Assembly elections, this time has decided to contest from Bijepur Assembly seat in Wester Odisha besides Hinjili seat.
Addressing the media here, BJD Rajya Sabha member and party spokesperson Pratap Keshari Deb Tuesday said the letter has been manipulated and fabricated to mislead the public ahead of the elections.
He said the document is fake and there is no such ‘desk’ like State Intelligence Political Desk (mentioned in the letter shown by BJP) in intelligence directorate of the state.
Deb said the BJP, which claims to win 120 out of 147 Assembly seats in 2019 elections, seems to be worried due to the popularity of Naveen Patnaik and stooping low to mislead the people.
The BJD MP further said a similar letter also surfaced before the Karnataka Assembly elections in May last year warning the then Chief Minister Siddaramaiah against contesting from Chamundeswari in Mysore district and suggested four alternative seats.
He said there are a lot of similarities between the letter surfaced in Karnataka and the letter shown by BJP leaders here yesterday (Monday).
“Most interesting to note is that the letter number mentioned in the two different reports is same. In Karnataka report the letter number is mentioned SIB 364/2018. In Odisha report it is mentioned PD 364/2019. Can letter number be same-364? Nakal me bhi akal chahiye,” the BJD leader said.
The ruling party would lodge a complaint with the Election Commission of India (ECI) in this regard demanding stern action against the persons involved in it, he said.
The intelligence report shown by the BJP in the press conference said the Chief Minister’s popularity has declined in his Hinjili Assembly constituency due to lack of amenities, infrastructure, false disbursement of funds under KALIA scheme and distribution of post cyclone relief to people close to the ruling party members.
The report suggested the Chief Minister not to contest from Hinjili and chose one from Rourkela, Bijepur, Bolangir and Titilagarh assembly constituencies in western Odisha. BJP came up with this letter just few hours after Naveen announced to fight from two constituencies—Hinjili and Bijepur.
Director General of Police (DGP) RP Sharma has already dismissed the BJP’s allegation and said Special Branch SP had lodged an FIR with the Kharvel Nagar police station Monday night.
Commissioner of Police Satyajit Mohanty said an inquiry will be conducted to find out the source of the fake letter and accordingly strong action will be taken against those involved in circulating the same.
On the other hand, the BJP Tuesday demanded an inquiry either by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or by National Investigation Agency (NIA) to know the veracity of the document and said the letter should be sent to Central Forensic laboratory for examination.
A delegation of the BJP led by party’s state vice president Samir Mohanty Tuesday met the Chief Electoral Officer and demanded the transfer and suspension of the DGP and Intelligence Director for acting in support of the ruling BJD in clear violation of model code of conduct (MCC).