Berhampur (Odisha): The Congress candidate in Ganjam district`s Chikiti assembly segment Manoranjan Dyansamantara on Tuesday alleged that the ruling BJD supporters indulged in rigging of votes in at least 16 places under Chikiti block during the first phase of election held on April 10.
“My polling agents were forcibly removed from the booths in some places. They too threatened our polling agents,” he told reporters here.
Demanding repolling in 16 booths, Dyansamantara said he had already complained to the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Mona Sharma immediately after the polling on April 10.
“We have asked the returning officer to make inquiry booth wise after receiving the complaints of the Congress candidate from the CEO office,” said Ganjam district collector Prem Chandra Chaudhary.
"We will reply to the CEO after the inquiry,” Choudhury, who is also the district election officer, said.
Former deputy speaker and senior Congress leader Chintamani Dyansamantara, also father of Congress candidate Manoranjan, claimed he had apprised the CEO prior to the poll about the apprehension of rigging.
"I had told the CEO as I had experienced this in the past two elections held in 2004 and 2009,? the Congress leader said.
The District Collector however said the district administration had taken adequate steps for conducting free and fair elections before the poll. While in some of the booths, they had installed CCTV cameras, in other booths they deployed the micro-observers considering the sensitivity of the booths.
In Chikiti segment, Manoranjan, a novice in politics is contesting the state?s Women and Child Development Minister and BJD?s nominee Usha Devi. BJP?s Udayanath Pradhan is also in the fray.
The Congress candidate in the segment also alleged that the ruling party supporters attacked his supporters after the election with the political motive in different villages.
He said at least seven such incidents were reported in post-election period. The victims, in some of the cases had lodged FIR before the police. Action should be taken against the accused immediately and para-military forces should be deployed in the area to provide security to the common people, he demanded.