EC notice to Naveen on poll expenditure irregularities

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Bhubaneswar: The Election Commission (EC) has issued a notice to Biju Janata Dal (BJD) president and Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday seeking explanation on alleged irregularities in 2014 poll expenditure.

According to reports published in national media, the poll expenditure mentioned in affidavit of Patnaik is not matching with the affidavit submitted to the EC by the ruling party BJD, following which the EC wanted a clarification from Patnaik.

Earlier, an allegation was leveled against Patnaik for filing a false affidavit in 2014 election.

Based on a complaint, the Supreme Court directed the Commission to look into the matter, the reports added.

However, BJD spokesperson Pratap Deb said though he was aware of the notice it is yet to be issued to CM. Appropriate reply will be given after getting the notice from the EC.

Patnaik was accused of submitting a fake affidavit misrepresenting the expenses during 2014 election.

RTI activist Subash Mohapatra had filed a petition in Orissa High Court in July under the Representation of People’s Act. Alleging irregularities in the statement of accounts and expenses submitted to EC during general elections, he had sought disqualification of the CM as MLA. Later, Mohapatra had moved the Supreme Court seeking transfer of the case to the Delhi High Court, which was refused by the apex court.

In July, Orissa High Court had issued notice to the EC on a writ petition directing the poll panel for early completion of inquiry against Patnaik.

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