A video has surfaced on social media purportedly showing a Gujarat BJP MLA telling electors Prime Minister Narendra Modi has installed cameras in polling booths to find out who was not voting for party candidates.
The MLA, Ramesh Katara, allegedly made the remarks while addressing a small campaign rally in support of BJP’s Lok Sabha candidate from Dahod, Jasvantsinh Bhabhor, in a village near Dahod two days ago.
In the clip, the MLA from Fatepura, which comes under the Dahod Lok Sabha constituency, is purportedly seen claiming Modi will stop giving work to the village if its residents do not vote for Bhabhor, a Union minister.
As the video featuring Katara and his controversial speech went viral, Dahod collector and district election officer V L Kharadi Tuesday issued a show-cause notice to him.
“We issued a show-cause notice to Katara today morning for the alleged breach of the model code of conduct. He is required to tender an explanation in a day,” said Kharadi.
“Press the button (on EVM) having the photo of Bhabhor and lotus (BJP’s) symbol. This time, Modi saheb has installed cameras (in polling booths).
“While sitting there, he would know who had voted for the BJP and who voted in favour of the Congress,” Katara is heard saying in the video.
“If votes (to the BJP) will be less in your booth, you will be given less work. Modi saheb, while sitting there, would find out that you did something wrong.
“Your photos are there on election card, Aadhaar card and even on ration card,” said Katara, warning the villagers.
Bhabhor, the sitting MP, has been renominated by the BJP for the Dahod (ST) seat.
However, Katara has denied threatening voters and claimed facts have been “distorted” in the video.
Claiming malicious intention behind circulation of the clip, the ruling party MLA said he was just making voters in the tribal-dominated village aware of polling process in their own language.
Voting in all the 26 Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat will be held in a single phase on April 23 and counting of votes will take place on May 23.