The returning officer of Cuttack district has issued a show-cause notice to a BJD candidate for allegedly trying to influence voters by posting an appeal on social media, a day after campaigning ended for the third phase of Lok Sabha and Assembly polls in Odisha. Also Read - Poll Panel Seeks Report on TMC's Complaint About PM's Pic on COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate

An election official said the BJD’s nominee for Barabatti-Cuttack assembly seat, Debasish Samantray, has been asked to explain within 48 hours on Tuesday as to why his message posted on Facebook should not be treated as a violation of Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. Also Read - Code of Conduct: EC Asks Petrol Pumps to Remove Hoardings With PM Modi's Photos Within 72 Hours

The candidate, an MLA for two terms, had appealed to the people in the Facebook message on Monday asking them to vote in his favour, which according to the district election officer, violated the model code of conduct. Also Read - Bengal Election 2021: Election Commission Removes Bengal ADG a Day After Announcing Poll Dates

Samantray was not available for comment.

Section 126 of the Act prohibits display of any election matter by means of cinematograph, television or similar apparatus, during the period of 48 hours before the conclusion of poll in that area.

The EC has made it mandatory for political parties and their candidates to refrain from holding public meetings, spreading promotional messages or organising events aimed at influencing voters after campaigning ends.

The Barabati-Cuttack segment along with 41 other assembly segments under six parliamentary constituencies voted in the third phase of the ongoing twin elections in the state on Tuesday.

Campaigning for the third phase of polling had ended on Sunday evening.