BJP, BJD accuse each other of luring voters in Odisha's Bijepur bypoll

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Sunday accused each other of using money to lure voters ahead of the February 24 bypoll for the Bijepur Assembly seat in Odisha's Bargarh district.

Both parties approached the state Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) a day after Rs 40.5 lakh in unaccounted cash was seized from a SUV by Bargarh police, who arrested Akash Agarwal and his father Om Prakash Agarwal as they could not provide satisfactory answers about the cash.

A BJP delegation led by Sajjan Sharma filed a complaint with the CEO and accused Bargarh district administration of working to favour the ruling party in the bypoll.

"Use of black money by the BJD is now rampant and the district administration is working at its behest. Besides, we have urged the CEO to take appropriate action against persons accused of distributing money to voters in Bijepur," Sharma said.

He demanded a thorough inquiry to unravel the source and destination of illicit cash.

On the other hand, the BJD alleged that both Akash and his father are "active workers of Bajrang Dal and Viswa Hindu Parishad (VHP) respectively" and have links with the BJP.

"Persons arrested with the cash are VHP activists. Om Prakash Agrawal is a member of the VHP while his son Akash has links with the VHP and BJP," BJD Vice President Surya Narayan Patro said.

The VHP denied the claim as well as links with Agarwal.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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