Indian Express

Maharashtra poll authorities seek detail on Sharad Pawar’s vote-twice remark

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Pawar had asked NCP workers to take advantage of the multi-phase polling in the state by voting twice. Pawar had asked NCP workers to take advantage of the multi-phase polling in the state by voting twice.

Poll authorities in Maharashtra have taken cognisance of NCP leader Sharad Pawar’s remarks asking party workers to vote twice in the multi-phase polling in the state by rubbing off the indelible ink and have sought details of his speech in Navi Mumbai on Sunday.

The office of the Chief Electoral Officer has initiated the process of procuring the video/audio recording of the Union minister’s speech before moving ahead in the matter.

Once the recording is available, the remarks of the concerned District Electoral Officer will be sought.

Sources said the matter is also likely to figure before the Election Commission in Delhi as to whether Pawar’s remarks are in violation of the Model Code of Conduct and provisions of the electoral laws and whether the poll body needs to act further on the matter. The EC is likely to discuss the issue on Monday.

Pawar had on Sunday asked his party workers to take advantage of the multi-phase polling in the state by voting twice, first at their hometowns and then at places of work.

“Last time (in 2009), the polling in Satara and Mumbai was on the same day and people went to their hometowns. But this time, polling in Satara is on April 17 and here on April 24,” Pawar had said, addressing a gathering of “mathadi” workers (head loaders) who hail from that district in Western Maharashtra.

Pawar, the student union activist-turned-national leader, however, warned voters to take necessary precautions.

“Do erase the ink mark which will be put when you vote first,” he had said.

“Vote for the clock (NCP symbol) there (in Satara) and come back to vote for the clock here as well,” he had said, to loud laughs at the gathering held in the APMC market in Navi Mumbai.

Pawar, however, had later told reporters in Mumbai that his statement was made in “a lighter vein and had a tinge of satire to it”.

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