Bhubaneswar : The Congress today accused both BJD and BJP of using black money and abusing official machinery of the state and the Centre to influence voters in the Odisha Panchayat elections.

“Both the ruling BJD in Odisha and BJP, which is in power at the Centre, flooded the state with huge black money in order to grab votes in the just concluded Panchayat polls,” Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Prasad Harichandan alleged at a press meet here.

Though results of the five-phase elections were yet to be officially declared, trends available during counting have shown that BJD, which was ahead in the race, was given

a neck -to-neck challenge by the BJP in many places.

As BJP grabbed a second position, Congress was pushed to the third place in the rural polls.

Owning moral responsibility for the party’s performance, Harichandan hit out at both BJD and BJP charging them with resorting to gross misuse of official machinery of the state government and the Centre.

Congress on its part was not in a position to compete with BJD and BJP, which are in power in the state and the Centre, in terms of use of money and muscle power and misuse of government machinery, the PCC chief said.

Referring to the impressive electoral gains made by BJP as suggested in the trends, Harichandan said the show was temporary and the party should not conclude that a similar pattern would be repeated in the Assembly elections due in the state in 2019.

Stating that Congress would review the political scenario in the aftermath of the Panchayat polls, the PCC president said future strategies would be worked out after the results of Assembly elections being held in some states were announced next month.

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