BJP Worker Killed, EVM Controversies Spark Tension in Odisha

BJP worker killed in Odisha during polling. Tensions rise over EVM mishandling. Protests and clashes with BJD reported in Kendrapara and Jajpur districts

Bhubaneswar: A BJP worker was allegedly killed in Patakura in Kendrapara during the last phase of polling in Odisha. The incident took place outside booth 161 at Jamapada under Kudanagari police limits.

The deceased is the father of BJP’s panchayat president.

The victim's son Kunjaban Swain alleged, "My father was standing on the roadside. BJD leader Amar Parida ran his vehicle over my father. Some BJD leaders had earlier indulged in booth rigging and when I objected, they had beaten me.”

BJP MLA candidate, Tejeswar Parida said, "The BJD has become bloodthirsty. In the morning, they tried to rig the booth. We had informed the police. Some BJD leaders ran a motorcycle over our BJP leader who was critically injured and died later.”

Meanwhile, tension prevailed at Argal panchayat in Kendrapara district over the mishandling of the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM). Protests erupted after locals spotted an EVM machine inside the vehicle that had come to the panchayat to take the EVM machines after the completion of the polls at booth number 51 yesterday.

Expressing outrage, locals on Saturday night opposed and detained the driver and the vehicle, leading to unrest in the panchayat. Angry locals detained the vehicle till late night as they questioned the presence of the EVM inside the vehicle. As a result, the polling party was held captive at the booth for a long time and could not return.

Later, police officials reached the spot, and the polling party returned along with the EVMs after proper discussions were held with the agitators.

Similarly, in another incident, a road blockade was staged in Dharmasala in the Jajpur district after EVM was allegedly not kept in the strong room. Scores of locals staged the demonstrations after some EVMs were taken to the block office instead of the strong room.

The protestors staged demonstrations in front of the vehicles that were engaged in the poll duty.

The situation was brought to control only after the district administration clarified that those were not the EVMs used for polling. The administration informed that it was the reserve EVMs.

Similarly, tension was also reported after a vehicle, carrying election duty officials and EVM from the Barchana area to Jajpur Town, halted near a hotel at Jaraka. Sensing something wrong, BJP activists and leaders gheraoed the officials on the spot.

Tension prevailed at the spot as the officials could not give any satisfactory answer regarding their halt. The situation was brought to control only after the Collector and superintendent of police (SP) reached the spot the EVM was taken to Jajpur Town for police protection.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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