Congress ask Naveen to step down, seeks fresh mandate

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Bhubaneswar, Apr 16 (UNI) Orissa Pradesh Congress Committee(OPCC) President Jayadev Jena today asked Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to demit his post and seek fresh mandate on moral ground following the defeat of BJD candidate in the Laxmipur(ST) Assembly bypoll.

Mr Jena told newspersons here that despite money and muscle power and the entire government machinery working in Laxmipur in clear violation of the code of conduct, the ruling BJD candidate was defeated in the bypoll.

He said the Chief Minister, his 12 ministers and as many as 48 MLAs from the BJD and BJP had virtually camped in Laxmipur and blatantly violated the model code of conduct during the electioneering.

The Congress President said the Chief Minister should own the moral responsibility for the defeat of his party candidate, step down from the post and seek a fresh mandate as the government has lost the confidence as well as the credibility of the people as evident from the outcome of the bypoll result.

The Congress retained the Laxmipur seat as its candidate Purna Chandra Majhi defeated Bhibhusan Majhi of BJD by a margin of 484 votes in a multi cornered contest.

Mr Jena said his party candidate would have won the seat with heavy margin of 20,000 votes if the government machinery was not blatantly used in favour of ruling BJD candidate.

The Congress, he said, had already held a demonstration here and submitted a memorandum to the Chief Election Commissioner urging him to derecognise the BJD political party for openly violating the model code of conduct during the elections.

Mr Jena alleged that a huge amount of money was distributed to woo the voters by the ruling BJD and BJP leaders a day before the election.

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