Pvt TV channel influencing voters: BJD to Odisha CEO

Bhubaneswar: The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) moved the state chief electoral officer (CEO) alleging that private TV channel Odisha TV or OTV violated the model code of conduct by influencing the voters on Thursday.

“The OTV channel has been using its reporters since this morning to ask voters queuing up at polling booths certain question which violates the Model Code of Conduct. The questions are aimed at influencing voters to vote for change and also influencing voters to vote against the Biju Janata Dal very subtly and implicitly,” said a memorandum which was submitted by a four-member delegation of BJD that met the CEO today.

“We have handed over a Pen Drive with the necessary evidence including clipping of such violations also with this letter and we request you to act urgently and immediately please in this regard or else more voters will get influenced by OTV and its reporters using such influencing tactics through their questions,” the memorandum added.

In another memorandum to the CEO, the conch party also alleged, “As per letter No. 3/ER/2018/SDR/VOL-1 dated 15th March, 2019 by Shri. N.T.Bhutia, Secretary, Election Commission to all recognized State Parties, a copy of which is enclosed, in SI. No. 4 of the said letter it is stated that “during the silence period, star campaigners and other Political Leaders should refrain from addressing the media by way of press conferences and giving interviews on election matters.”

“However, it was shocking to note that BJP leader Baijayant Panda has given a media byte which construes as an interview in the electoral process. Further, OTV has telecasted this today (April 11) between 1.40 pm to 1.49 pm,” it added.

BJD’s petition further said, “We demand that strict and immediate action be taken against the BJP and its leader as well as OTV for the above-mentioned violations. We look forward to your immediate intervention in this regard.”

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