Bhubaneswar: The Congress party today received a big blow as the State Election Commission (SEC) in order to take up the Congress Manifesto issue to a logical conclusion, asked the Congress to withdraw its manifesto for the ensuing Panchayat polls today.
The Commission however said that the Congree party if it so desires can reprint the manifesto but with three categorial deletions. The first objectionable item related to three paragraphs published on page three of the manifesto and the second one concerned with the list of ministers projected to be tainted at page 9 and 10 of the manifesto. The third one being removing the cartoon of the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik captioned as ‘Odishara Dashanan’ published at the backpage of the manifesto.
The SEC on Tuesday had reserved its verdict on the issue.
It is noteworthy to mention that close to the heel of the release of the manifesto, the ruling BJD strongly objected the document as a violation of the Model Code of Conduct and demanded the SEC to ban it.
The party had also demanded the SEC to issue a direction to the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee for withdrawal of the manifesto describing it as offensive.
The State Election Commission (SEC) on January 31 had served a show cause notice to Pradesh Congress Committee Chief Niranjan Patnaik over party’s manifesto.
Responding to the notice of the SEC for clarification on the BJD complaints on the manifesto, the Congress party had denied having made any violation of the Model Code of Conduct, saying that the corruption charges against Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and other ministers in its manifesto are old issues and that all these have already been published by newspapers.