Bhubaneswar: The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Friday held Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its leader Dharmendra Pradhan responsible for alleged surge in political violence in Odisha.
“Since Pradhan has been elected to Rajya Sabha from Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, he has learnt the art of political violence from those states and now importing it to Odisha, thereby destroying the peaceful political environment in the state,” the BJD said at a press conference.
Addressing the press meet, BJD spokespersons Lenin Mohanty, Sulata Deo and Sasmit Patra alleged that Pradhan was seen viciously intimidating, threatening and preventing poll officials from checking his sealed suitcase recently.
“His despicable, disgraceful and appalling behavior with the poll officials clearly shows that he was hiding something inside that sealed suitcase,” the spokespersons said.
The party spokespersons further said this is not the first time that Pradhan has been seen indulging in such behavior. He has a long history of connect with corrupt and criminal people apart from his own questionable integrity in the Vyapam Scam.
In the Vyapam Scam it is clear that he had taken a flight ticket from the Scam’s main culprit Sudhir Sharma. What were the benefits that Pradhan had sought to help in the Vyapam Scam should be made known to the people of Odisha, the BJD spokespersons said.
The spokespersons also alleged Pradhan’s involvement in the Coal allocation scam. In 2014 the former Union Coal Secretary PC Parakh in his book “Crusader or Conspirator?: Coalgate and Other Truths” has exposed Pradhan for his conspiracy to get benefits of coal allocation for specific people and vested interests, they said.
Similarly, the BJD spokespersons alleged that the BJP has chosen candidates with criminal backgrounds. “Foremost among them is Soroda MLA candidate Nilamani Bisoi of BJP who has been booked in three murder cases, three attempt to murder, six cases of rioting, three cases of abduction, six cases of criminal intimidation, and one case each of Illegal Arms Act and Illegal Explosive Act cases,” the party spokespersons said.
“Yesterday, Bisoi attacked the polling booth in Soroda and destroyed an EVM apart from attacking the people there. Apart from him, there is the BJP candidate from Bhatli Assembly constituency Irasis Acharya who was arrested in July, 2018 for murder case and was jailed. Such criminal elements are the backbone of BJP today,” the spokespersons added.