Haryana Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Bakshish Singh Virk, who was seen in a controversial video ahead of his re-election attempt, ended up third in Assandh constituency on Thursday. The Congress won the seat.
On election day on Monday, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had tweeted a video clip in which Virk was seen declaring that votes would be cast in favour of the ruling party irrespective of the button pressed by voters on electronic voting machines.
In the 39-second video, Virk was heard saying that he would get to know who the people had voted for as both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar were “very intelligent”.
He also claimed that EVMs were manipulated, NDTV reported. “You may vote for whoever you want, your vote will go to the kamal [lotus, BJP’s poll symbol] only,” he told the audience at a public meeting. “Press any button, the vote will go to BJP. We have fixed a purja [part] in the EVM machines.”
After the video was shared widely, the BJP leader – dubbed “the most honest man in the BJP” by Gandhi – claimed it was fake. He accused his political rivals of conspiring to defame him and the BJP.
On Sunday, the Election Commission had issued a notice to Virk for his comments, and also appointed a special observer to the constituency to take “corrective action”, PTI reported. “After the video circulated on social media, the Election Commission took cognisance and issued a show cause notice to Virk,” Haryana Joint Chief Electoral Officer Inder Jeet told the news agency.
On Thursday, Shamsher Singh Gogi of the Congress polled 32,050 votes, Narendra Singh of the Bahujan Samaj Party received 30,386 votes while Virk received the support of 28,390 voters.
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