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HomeLatest NewsOdisha BJP candidate arrested for EVM vandalism | India News

Odisha BJP candidate arrested for EVM vandalism | India News

BHUBANESWAR: Prasanta Jagadev, the 55-year-old BJP candidate from Khurda assembly constituency, was arrested on Sunday for allegedly vandalising an EVM and assaulting polling personnel in a booth during the third phase of voting in Odisha on Saturday.
The two-time BJD MLA, who was earlier booked in 11 criminal cases and is known for unruly conduct, had joined the BJP on February 29, two years after the regional party had expelled him for allegedly ramming his vehicle into some BJP workers in Khurda district on March 12, 2022, leaving several injured.He was arrested 10 days later.
On Saturday afternoon, Jagadev, who was waiting to cast his vote at booth number 114 in Bolagarh block under Begunia assembly constituency, allegedly lost his cool and hurled abuses at the polling staff for supposed delay in the voting process, police sources said.
Police said he allegedly ransacked the booth, leading to the damage of an EVM and caused disruptions in the polling process for several minutes. Police sources said Jagadev, who left the booth after the incident, was intercepted by the police while he was travelling in a vehicle, accompanied by a prominent BJP leader, on Saturday. He was brought to Bolagarh police station for questioning.
“We arrested him on Sunday on the basis of a complaint lodged by one of the polling officials on duty. Relevant sections of the IPC and Representation of People’s Act have been imposed against him,” Khurda SP Awinash Kumar said. He was sent to Khurda jail following the rejection of his bail plea.
BJD leader Bhrugu Baxipatra said Jagadev’s arrest exposed the BJP’s criteria of selecting candidates. “BJP fielded many candidates who were kicked out from the BJD for promoting criminal activities,” Baxipatra said.
However, senior BJP politician Jiban Sahoo claimed Jagadev was falsely implicated in the case. “Jagadev was not involved in vandalising the EVM. We will lodge a protest,” Sahoo said.
Jagadev, who was elected to the assembly on a BJD ticket from Begunia assembly segment in 2014 and from Chilika in 2019, is the second candidate to have been arrested this poll season. On May 14, Siva Shankar Dash, an Independent candidate from Berhampur assembly segment, was arrested by Gosani Nuagaon police for allegedly assaulting BJP’s Berhampur MP candidate Pradeep Panigrahy after the end of voting on May 13.
In a separate incident, a case has been registered against BJD’s Chhendipada MLA candidate Susanta Kumar Behera in Angul district for allegedly attacking a BJP worker near a booth on Saturday. The office of the state chief electoral officer (CEO) has sought a report from the Angul district election officer on the matter.

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