A BJP MLA has run into trouble for reportedly telling voters that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has installed cameras inside polling booths to find out “who votes for the BJP and who votes for the Congress”. According to a purported video clip, he also warned that areas which did not vote for the BJP would get “less government grants”.
The District Election Officer has issued a showcause notice to Ramesh Katara, BJP MLA from Fatehpura in Dahod Lok Sabha constituency.
Katara reportedly made the remarks while addressing a gathering in Fatehpura on Sunday. Telling voters to press the button on the EVM with the photograph of BJP candidate and sitting MP Jaswantsinh Bhabor, Katara is seen telling them, in Gujarati, that Modi has fitted cameras inside the booths to watch the proceedings from Delhi.
“This time, Modi Saheb has installed cameras in every polling booth to watch who votes for the BJP and who votes for the Congress… If the BJP gets fewer votes from a particular booth, that area will get less government grants. Modi Saheb will sit in Delhi and watch,” he says in the purported video clip.
When contacted, Katara said he was explaining the process of voting. “After elections, everyone can know how many people voted for the Congress and how many voted for the BJP at every booth. There is nothing new in what I said. Cameras are also installed at booths to keep a check on people, so that they don’t fight, and there is no booth-capturing,” he said.
Asked about his comment that an area would get less government grants if it did not vote for the BJP, he said he would reply to the election officer.
“We have gone through the contents of the video and have served a showcause notice to the MLA for violation of the Model Code of Conduct. He has been asked to submit a reply within 24 hours. Based on his reply, we will take further action,” said Dahod Collector and District Election Officer V L Kharadi.