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Naveen to hit campaign trail tomorrow for Bijepur bypoll

Naveen Patnaik

Bhubaneswar: Chief minister Naveen Patnaik will hit the campaign trail for the Bijepur by-poll from tomorrow even as the BJP has decided to field union minister Smriti Irani to counter him.

As per sources, the field wouldn’t suit Smriti as the CM’s campaign will form cloud over the saffron party’s poll preparation.

On the first day of his campaign, Naveen will address a public meeting at Barpali from where he will proceed to Kumari village in the block by attending road shows along the way. He will proceed to Agalpur from Kumari, Rajya Sabha MP and BJD’s in-charge for the by-poll Prasanna Acharya said and added that the chief minister will night halt at Bargarh after the first day’s campaign.

Naveen will address two public meetings at Gaisilet and Bijepur on the second day of the campaign. There will be no road shows on the second day, Acharya said.

Meanwhile, the BJD today demanded that legal action should be taken against the BJP for non-submission of election expenditure.

In a memorandum submitted to the chief electoral officer (CEO), general secretary Pradeep Kumar Panigrahi alleged that the BJP is not submitting the daily election expenditure.

Besides, the party’s election expenditure is also not being assessed by the expenditure observer or any authorised officer.

The memorandum also alleged that the BJP workers are putting mehendi of lotus symbol (the party’s symbol) on the palms of the women voters of the constituency and alluring them to show their palms to other electorates for rewards.

Alleging that such action of BJP workers is violation of the model code of conduct issued by the Election Commission of India (ECI), the BJD requested the CEO to verify these facts and take necessary action.

In a separate memorandum, the BJD alleged that the BJP is promising to deposit `35,000 in the bank accounts of individual voters who will vote for its candidate in the by-poll.

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