A video surfaced on Friday showing Bharatiya Janata Party MP from Unnao, Sakshi Maharaj, threatening to curse people if they don’t vote for him in the Lok Sabha elections, ABP Live reported.
“I am a sanyasi and when a sanyasi comes to your door and asks for ‘bhiksha’ [alms], and is not heard, he takes away all the happiness of the family and transfer his sins onto them,” he is heard saying in the video. “I am quoting from sacred scriptures. I am not asking for money or land. I am here to seek votes with which the fate of Indians will be decided,” he said. He was speaking at an election meeting at Sheshpur village in Sohramau area, Unnao, according to PTI.
Maharaj also purportedly likened voting to “kanyadaan”, a Hindu wedding ritual. While “kanyadaan” decides the fortunes of the bride, voting decides the fate of 125 crore Indians, he said.
Maharaj, however, denied making the comments, according to The Indian Express. “I have not said anything like this,” he said. “I have also heard from somewhere. I don’t know what is being shown on TV. I am busy with the election.”
City magistrate Rakesh Kumar Gupta said a case has been registered against Maharaj at Sohramau police station under Section 171C (undue influence at elections) of the Indian Penal Code and relevant sections of the Representation of People Act, 1951.
Polling in Unnao will take place in the fourth phase on April 29.
Maharaj’s comments come a day after BJP leader and Union minister Maneka Gandhi appeared to have threatened the Muslim community in Sultanpur, Uttar Pradesh, to vote for her or face the risk of not receiving her help as a lawmaker. Videos of the Bharatiya Janata Party leader’s speech in Sultanpur, from where she will contest, had surfaced on social media.