Dehradun: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Ganesh Joshi was caught on camera distributing money to women during a Chhath puja celebration in his constituency and hence, violating the model code of conduct ahead of the Uttarakhand Civic Polls 2018, scheduled for November 18. In the video, Joshi can be seen distributing money to women during a Chhath celebration.

Justifying the distribution of money, the BJP MLA said that there was nothing wrong in it and what he did was an age-old tradition. It has nothing to do with the forthcoming civic body polls as being alleged by the Congress, he said. “Congress is making a mountain out of a molehill as it can see its defeat in the civic body polls,” he said.

“You must have noticed in the video that I am handing notes only to women who apply ‘tika’ on my forehead, not to all those present there. Brothers do give money or a gift to their sisters when they apply ‘tika’ on their foreheads. It is an age-old practice. What is wrong in it?” Joshi told news agency PTI.

Asked whether he had been served with a notice for alleged violation of the model code of conduct by the state election commission, he said he had not received any such notice yet. “I will reply to it (notice) when I get it. No one takes cognisance when liquor is distributed among voters to influence them but they object when an age-old religious practice is followed,” the Mussoorie MLA said.

Demanding strict action against the BJP MLA for violating model code of conduct, the Congress party said, “It is a clear case of notes for votes and an open violation of the model code of conduct. We demand stern action against the BJP leader.”