**Kalahandi: ** Nine persons, including Chhattisgarh BJP NGO Cell Secretary Lokesh Kawadia, were arrested on Tuesday by the district police for allegedly distributing money in a village of Thuamul Rampur on Monday night.
As per reports, Kawadia and eight others were detained from the village in Thuamul Rampur block on Monday night while allegedly distributing money on the eve of the final phase of the ongoing three-tier Panchayat polls across Odisha.
Rs 2.11 lakh hard cash and four vehicles have also been seized from their possession.
On Tuesday all the nine arrested were forwarded to court.
BJP spokesperson Golak Mohapatra defended, “Those who are resorting to the tact of vote for note to win elections, they level such wild charges. The person caught had actually come there to attend on one of his kin hospitalised. As medical expenses were to be met, he had come with money which is quite obvious. By arresting him and alleging that he had come for BJP, and coincidentally he is a convener of a BJP cell, such arrest is unfortunate. It’s nothing but a pre-meditated strategy of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) to defame BJP.”