Pipili: Pradeep Maharathy, a seasoned Odisha MLA and a Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader has been arrested on charges of leading an attack on EC team. The BJP leader allegedly attacked an Election Commission of India (ECI) team, during a raid at his farmhouse.

The flying squad members of the EC had gone to his farmhouse at Hunkeipur village near Pipili in Puri district to ascertain facts late on Sunday evening when they were attacked by Maharathy's followers. Following this, many squad members had to flee from the spot. The EC team had made a surprise visit on being informed about the distribution of cash and liquor to influence voters.


Rabi Narayan Patra, the Magistrate leading the flying squad earlier told media, “Mr Maharathy himself rushed towards us and was seen directing his followers to attack us. We were severely beaten and had to flee from the spot”.

The BJD leader was then summoned to the Pipili Police Station for questioning. According to sources unable to give a satisfactory explanation about his conduct, he was arrested. 

Also read: Rebel BJD leader Baijayant 'Jay' Panda joins BJP in Amit Shah's presence

Odisha TV has reported, "...the ruling party legislator has been charged with serious offences including 307 (Attempt to Murder), 353 (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 341 (wrongful restraint), 332 (Voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 147 (rioting), 148 (Rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (Every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object), 171-B (Bribery), 186 and Section 123 of Representation of People’s Act."

The police claim that they have enough evidence for his arrest and to prosecute him. Sources confirm that the cops also seized a motorcycle and a car from the spot. 

This incident has once again brought the spotlight on the electoral malpractices prevailing in many parts of India, including Odisha which is not only voting for the Lok Sabha election but also the assembly election.