"Tall claims of having conducted a free and fair election in Odisha are hollow and misleading. There was large scale rigging at many places through BJD-bureaucrat nexus," Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Jaydev Jena alleged at a press conference. (Agencies)
Congress has evidence about an unholy nexus between the ruling BJD and bureaucrats including poll officials, Jena said, adding the elections were held in an undemocratic way and the government not only misused its power and machinery but indulged in rampant use of money and muscle.
Though evidence was submitted to the chief electoral officer's office about ruling BJD's alleged involvement in rigging and bogus voting, no action has been taken, he claimed.
Alleging gross irregularities, manipulations and rigging in 101 booths in Ghasipura assembly segment in Keonjhar district, Jena said elections in the constituency should be countermanded and re-polling held.
In Ghasipura, where election was held in on April 17, there was enough evidence in the form of video clippings of alleged rigging in the area which have been submitted to CEC, but no action has been taken so far, he said.
Voicing serious concern over safety and security of EVMs, Jena accused ruling BJD of attempting to replace and manipulate the voting machines stored in strong rooms.
The strong rooms where EVMs are kept are under the threat of manipulation and tampering, he said, asking all opposition parties and candidates to be alert and vigilant to foil any bid to tamper with the voting machines.
EVMs found in the vehicles of government officials and those associated with election process in Mahakalpada, Baripada and Bhubaneswar (central) exposed the evil designs and nexus with the ruling party, Jena said.
The Congress leader also cited the example of Kamakshyanagar Assembly segment in Dhenkanal district and claimed that the sub-collector had entered the strong room.
There are also doubts about free and fair election in districts like Mayurbhanj, he said.
Jena lamented that no detailed information is available about the amount of cash seized during the poll process and also about the action taken against those involved in illegalities.
"Tall claims of having conducted a free and fair election in Odisha are hollow and misleading. There was large scale rigging at many places through BJD-bureaucrat nexus," Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Jaydev Jena alleged at a press conference.