Traders in poll-bound Padampur call off bandh after talks

     Bhubaneswar, Nov 28 (PTI) Traders at Padampur have called off a 12-hour bandh in the poll-bound town earlier slated for Tuesday following discussions with officials. <br>        The dusk to dawn bandh had been called after back-to-back raids a day before by the Income Tax and GST departments. By-elections to Padampur are due on December 5.<br>        Traders said the bandh had been called off after talks with GST officials.<br>        The IT department had Monday raided the Padampur rown residences of three businessmen known to be close to the ruling BJD, while the GST department of the state government cracked down on BJP-supported traders, in what some saw as a tit-for-tat raid.<br>        A 12-hour bandh was then called on Tuesday by the local traders against the GST crackdown on traders at Padampur, Paikmal and Jharabandha towns. One of those whose premises was raided by the GST department is Sunil Agarwal, the president of Padampur town unit of BJP.<br>        The BJD this time has fielded Bariha's daughter Barsha Singh Bariha as its candidate in Padampur, where a tough challenge has been posed by former MLA and Odisha BJP Krushak Morcha president Pradip Purohit. The Congress has also fielded a veteran, its three-time MLA Satya Bhusan Sahu.<br>        BJD has denounced the IT raids amidst the intense campaigning for Padampur by-poll.<br>        Senior party leader Sashi Busan Behera said, "The IT raids ahead of the by-election is not acceptable. IT had all the time to raid any place, but unfortunately did so now".<br>        The IT raids were held with security by CRPF personnel brought from Chhatisgarh, police said. PTI AAM  <br>JRC   JRC

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