DAHOOD — Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator from Fatehpura, Ramesh Katara, has kicked up a controversy when he allegedly threatened voters saying those who fail to vote for the saffron party will be identified and won’t be given jobs.
The BJP MLA while asking people to vote for BJP claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has installed cameras inside the polling booths and will know who has voted for who.
“There should not be any room for error as Narendra Modi has installed cameras inside the polling stations this time. We will know who has voted for Congress. Those who don’t vote or vote for Congress will be identified and not given work,” Ramesh Katara said as he campaigned for BJP candidate Jaswant Sinh Bhabhor from Dahod.
“Aadhaar and other cards have your photo now if there are less votes from your booth, he will come to know who did not cast vote and will not get work,” Ramesh Katara added.
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 here two days ago.
A video has surfaced on social media purportedly showing a Gujarat BJP MLA 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.
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.
(With inputs from PTI)