The Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday asked the Election Commission to deploy women police to verify the identities of burqa-clad women during the remaining two phases of the civic body elections in Uttar Pradesh, PTI reported.
“Women sporting the veil should be verified if needed,” a BJP delegation wrote in a letter to the state election commission. “For this women security personnel or women election officers should be deployed at booths.”
The demand comes days after a woman attending Chief Minister Adityanath’s rally in Ballia city was forced to remove her burqa, leading to controversy. A video showed three policewomen talking to the woman, after which she takes off the burqa, and a policeman takes the robe away.
The party had made a similar demand during the Assembly elections in the state in March this year. It had raised fears of “bogus voting”.
In a 2016 manual for polling, the Election Commission had said that if a polling booth has “sufficiently large number” of burqa-clad women voters, “special arrangements” should be made for their identification.
The first phase of voting in the civic body elections took place on Wednesday across 24 districts. Two phases remain, which will be held on November 26 and November 29. The results will be declared on December 1.