Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today dubbed allegations about irregularities in BJD’s 2014 election funds as “malicious, fabricated and false” and said legal steps may be taken in the matter if necessary. “The allegations are malicious, fabricated and false. If necessary, we will take legal action,” Patnaik told reporters on his return here after a five-day visit to Delhi. To a question on whether the allegation was part of a conspiracy, he said it appears to be like that. “There might be an attempt to malign the party’s image,” Patnaik said.
On BJD’s victory in the recent Zilla Parishad polls, the chief minister said said BJP came third in the polls even though the saffron party’s state unit president belonged to the area. Patnaik’s statement came a day after state BJP said it will move the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Income Tax department for an investigation into alleged discrepancies in the data of ruling BJD’s election expenditure. Congress chief whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati has also demanded a CBI investigation into the financial transactions of the ruling BJD. State BJP vice president Samir Mohanty said BJD is trying to divert people’s attention by saying it will take legal steps on the matter.
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Both BJP and Congress have stepped up their attack on BJD after Orissa High Court issued a notice to the Election Commission on a writ petition that sought direction to the poll panel for early completion of inquiry on alleged “false” statements made about Patnaik’s election expenses during the 2014 Assembly polls. The petitioner, a social activist, has alleged “irregularities” in the election expenses of Patnaik as a BJD candidate for the Hinjili Assembly segment. He also alleged “discrepancies” in the sworn statements of expenses both by Patnaik and his party Biju Janata Dal, of which he is the president. “We will draw the attention of ED and IT department and apprise them of the irregularities (of BJD’s election expenditure),” BJP’s Samir Mohanty had said yesterday.