Cyclone Fani: Patnaik writes to EC, requests removal of model code of conduct

Bhubaneswar (Odisha): Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday sent a letter to the Election Commission requesting removal of the Model Code of Conduct from all coastal districts, to make it easier for the government to handle the impending cyclonic storm FANI in the state.

“Odisha has had simultaneous polls that ended on April 29. In this backdrop, the model code of conduct be completely removed for all coastal districts of the state so that the government can handle the situation keeping the safety of people in mind,” said CM Patnaik.

Terming the threat of storm “extremely severe”, the CM said, “As per the latest predictions the cyclone is expected to make landfall in Kendrapara district with a wind speed of 200 Kms per hour and with a very high storm surge. The response to a cyclone of this magnitude has to be immediate, effective and sharp in order to prevent loss of life.”

He further suggested that the assembly polls in Patkura constituency scheduled to be held on May 19 be postponed to a later date.

“Evacuation, relief and disaster preparedness are all community based and at this point to have a politically supercharged atmosphere will cause serious dislocation in the preparedness,” said Patnaik.

The election commission will agree that at this time the government’s topmost priority will be to save precious lives, added the CM.