A Warning On "Bharat Mata Ki Jai" From Haryana TikTok Star, BJP Candidate

The BJP's Sonali Phogat is challenging Congress candidate Kuldeep Bishnoi in his family bastion Adampur in the Haryana assembly election, due on October 21

BJP candidate Sonali Phogat had asked the people to say "Bharat Mata ki Jai".

New Delhi:

In a controversial video that's doing the rounds in Haryana, BJP candidate Sonali Phogat is heard telling a gathering in the election-bound state that the votes of those who can't say "Bharat Mata ki Jai" are of "no value".

The former actor -- who has lakhs of followers on the video-making app TikTok -- is challenging Congress candidate Kuldeep Bishnoi in his family bastion Adampur on the state election, due on October 21. Mr Bishnoi is the son of former Haryana Chief Minister Bhajan Lal, who represented the seat nine times in the state assembly.

In the video, the 40-year-old candidate is heard asking the residents of Haryana's Balsamand village to repeat the "Bharat Mata ki Jai" slogan at the beginning of her address. But when some failed to respond, she lashed out at them, saying they should be ashamed of themselves.

"Are you all from Pakistan? If you are Indian then say Bharat Mata ki Jai," she is heard saying in the video. When some still fail to comply, she is heard saying, "I am ashamed of you all... that there are Indians like you... Those who can't say Jai for their nation, for the sake of petty politics... Those who can't say 'Bharat Mata Ki jai' their votes are of no value," she is heard saying.

"You should all be ashamed of yourself," added the former actor, who has become hugely popular in the video sharing app Tik Tok with her lip-synching renditions of Bollywood hits.

Earlier, Ms Phogat had compared Adampur to Amethi, the Gandhi family stronghold, which opted for the BJP's Smriti Irani in the national elections this year instead of Rahul Gandhi, who has been representing the seat since 2004.

The Manohal Lal Khattar-led BJP government is seeking a second term in Haryana, hoping to win 75 of the 90 seats in the state assembly.

The party is in a multi-cornered contest, where not only the Congress, but the new Jannayak Janta Party -- which broke away from the Indian National Lok Dal - are expected to be key players.