Bhubaneswar: The Election Commission has slapped a show cause notice on BJP’s national spokesperson Sambit Patra for violation of model code of conduct(MCC).

Sambit, who is contesting for the Puri Lok Sabha constituency in Odisha, was seen flaunting the idol of Lord Jaganath in a election campaign rally.

The Odisha Congress moved the Chief Electoral Officer of the state against the BJP’s Puri MP candidate claiming that the action and rhetoric of Patra amounts to violation of model code of conduct. A six-member team led by party vice president Arya Kumar Gyanendra petitioned the CEO that Patra used Lord Jagannath’s idol during a poll rally from Bhubaneswar to Puri, in violation of model code of conduct.

“When it has been mentioned by Election Commission of India that no election can be fought on basis of any religion, caste, creed or culture, the election rally of Dr Sambit Patra and the photographs thereof clearly shows the violation of model code of conduct,” the Congress has mentioned in its petition.

The BJP national spokesperson said , “A BJP supporter gifted me the idol. As an Odia and devotee of Lord Jagannath, I can never refuse it. I received the idol with all reverence. What’s wrong in that?”

Gyanendra said said that the BJP is trying to play with the religious sentiment of the people of Odisha during this elections time. It won’t be tolerated, he asserted.

BJD’s Subhas Singh said that BJP always try to do politics over religion during elections. The saffron party would not be allowed to exploit the people’s sentiment, he added.