Gujarat Bharatiya Janata Party leader Ramesh Katara on Tuesday reportedly told villagers at a rally in Dahod constituency that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has installed cameras in polling booths and will know who votes for the Congress in the Lok Sabha elections.
“You’ll see the photo of Jaswant Sinh Bhabhor [BJP candidate from Dahod] and lotus symbol on the electronic voting machine,” a video showed Katara telling the audience at the rally, NDTV reported. “Look for that and press the button. There should not be any room for error as Modi has installed cameras this time.”
The BJP leader said those who do not vote will not get jobs. “It can be seen who votes for the Congress, for the BJP,” Katara claimed. “Aadhaar card and all cards have your photo now, if there are fewer votes from your booth then he will come to know who did not cast vote and then you will not get jobs.”
This is not the first instance of BJP leaders threatening voters during the 2019 election campaign. On Monday, Union minister Maneka Gandhi told villagers in Uttar Pradesh’s Pilibhit, where her son Varun Gandhi is the BJP candidate, that she will grade villages according to the number of votes the BJP receives and will prioritise development work accordingly.
“We win in Pilibhit every time, so what is the parameter that we work more for one village and less for the other,” Maneka Gandhi is heard saying in a video shot at a public meeting. “The parameter is that we segregate all villages as A, B, C, and D.”
Last week, Maneka Gandhi courted controversy after threatening Muslims in Sultanpur to vote for her or face the risk of not receiving her help after she is re-elected. She said she would win the election with or without the community’s help. On Monday, the Election Commission barred Gandhi from campaigning for 48 hours for that remark.
On Friday, a video had surfaced in which Sakshi Maharaj, the BJP MP from Unnao, was seen threatening to curse people if they don’t vote for him in the Lok Sabha elections.
The Lok Sabha elections are being held in seven phases from April 11 to May 19, and votes will be counted on May 23.