An FIR has been lodged against Rajasthan minister of state for Panchayati Raj and Rural Development Dhan Singh Rawat for allegedly saying that if Muslims can unite and vote for the Congress then Hindus can also vote for the BJP.
According to the police, Rawat made the alleged statement in Banswara district on October 27. “Congress ke saath Musalman ek saath matdan kar sakte hain, to saare Hindu bhi mil karke Bharatiya Janata Party ke saath ja sakte hain, aur prachand bahumat se BJP ko jita sakte hain (If Muslims can vote unitedly for Congress then all Hindus can also unite and go with the BJP and make it win with a thumping majority),” Rawat is heard saying in a video of the meeting.
Rawat is heard saying that the BJP is the party which is a protector of the ‘Sanatan Sanskriti (traditional culture)’ of India. He is also heard terming the Congress as a ‘party of Muslims’.
The police said that an FIR was registered against Rawat on Monday at the Banswara Kotwali police station under section 125 (promoting enmity between classes in connection with election) of The Representation of the People Act, 1951. “An FIR has been registered against Rawat for his statements and preliminary investigation suggests that he had said this on October 27. The FIR was lodged against Rawat after a complaint from the district administration. Further investigation is being conducted in the matter,” said Ghansyam Sharma, circle officer, Banswara.
“Whatever he has said is an electoral offence and an FIR has been lodged against him for that. Investigation is being conducted,” said Anand Kumar, Chief Electoral Officer, Rajasthan.
After Rawat courted controversy with his statements, Rajasthan home minister Gulab Chand Kataria said it has never been the objective of BJP to divide voters on religious lines. “Neither Muslim nor Hindu, every person is a voter and a voter doesn’t have any caste. They should listen to their own heart and mind, and vote for the person who could help in developing the country,” Kataria had said.
Rajasthan goes to poll on December 7 this year. The tenure of the current assembly led by BJP leader Vasundhara Raje will end on January 20. The counting of votes is scheduled to take place on December 11.