Naveen’s poll irregularities: Election Commission issues notice

New Delhi/ Bhubaneswar: The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Wednesday issued a notice to Biju Janata Dal (BJD) president and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik seeking an explanation on why his expenditure amount, that he filed to the ECI, does not match the one that is filed by the party.

In October this year, the Supreme Court had directed the Election Commission to take a final call on the poll funding case of Naveen Patnaik.

The Election Commission has issued a notice to Patnaik following the direction of the apex court.

Patnaik was earlier accused of submitting a fake affidavit misrepresenting the expenses during the 2014 election and a complaint was filed under the Representation of People Act in the Orissa High Court.

RTI activist Subash Mohapatra had filed a petition in Orissa High Court in July alleging irregularities in the statement of accounts and expenses submitted by Naveen Patnaik after the 2014 general elections. Later, he filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking transfer of the case to the Delhi High Court, which was refused by the apex court.

Mohapatra had sought the disqualification of chief minister as MLA on the grounds of submitting false poll expense details to EC.

If proven guilty, Patnaik might end up losing the post of the Chief Minister of Odisha and disqualified from the state Assembly.

Meanwhile, BJD spokesperson Pratap Deb said they have not received any notice from the Election Commission regarding Naveen’s poll irregularities.

We don’t know whether it is a notice or clarification. We would certainly reply to the ECI once we receive the notice,” said Deb.