Prime Minister Narendra Modi has installed cameras in polling booths and will know who voted for the Congress, a lawmaker of the ruling BJP has said in Gujarat, adding another to a series of recent comments seen as attempts to intimidate voters. Ramesh Katara, a BJP legislator from Fatehpura, is on camera making the comment while campaigning for the national polls at a village in Dahod constituency on Tuesday.
"You'll see the photo of Jaswant Sinh Bhabhor (BJP candidate from Dahod) and lotus symbol on the EVM (electronic voting machine), look for that and press the button. There should not be any room for error as Modi sa'ab has installed cameras this time," Ramesh Katara is heard telling a small gathering of people.
He goes on to rub in his message, lest anyone missed his not-so-subtle inference.
"Who voted for the BJP, who for the Congress, it can be seen. 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," Ramesh Katara said, according to news agency ANI.
Jaswant Sinh Bhabhor is the current parliamentarian from Dahod.
The comments have provoked anger among opposition parties. The RJD tweeted that such threats could not be taken lightly.
"Helpless, voiceless citizens are intimidated into voting for them. Such issues will have an impact," the party of Lalu Yadav said in its tweet.
Earlier, BJP candidate and Union Minister Maneka Gandhi was heard saying at a meeting in Sultanpur that Muslims who did not vote for her in general elections 2019 should not expect any help from her. She said her win was certain "with or without" the support of Muslims, but if she found out an area had not voted for her, it would leave a bitter taste. "Then when a Muslim comes to me for work, I think let it be," she said.
In another remark in Pilibhit, where her son Varun Gandhi is contesting, she also suggested the grading of villages according to how they voted. "The village where we get 80 per cent votes is A, the village in which we get 60 per cent is B, the village in which we get 50 per cent is C and the village where we get less than 50 per cent is D. The development work first happens in all A category villages. Then comes B and only after work in B is done, we start with C. So this is up to you whether you make it to A, B or C and no one should come in D because we all have come here to do good," she said.
The Election Commission yesterday banned her from campaigning for 48 hours as punishment.
(With inputs from ANI)