- Chandauli voters alleged ink was forcibly applied on their fingers
- UP alliance candidate and supports protested along with villagers
- BJP has denied allegations that its workers were involved
Voters of a village in Uttar Pradesh's Chandauli constituency have alleged that indelible ink was forcibly applied on their fingers and that they were bribed by BJP workers in the final round of the national election on Sunday.
The residents of Tara Jivanpur, along with workers of the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party, protested outside the local police station, claiming that voters were bribed by BJP workers asking them to skip voting.
"They asked us if we'll vote for the party. They told us now you can't vote. Don't tell anyone," a resident was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
The voters said they given Rs. 500 by three men in their village on Saturday.
Among those who were protesting and raising slogans against the district administration and the police was Sanjay Chauhan, the candidate jointly fielded by Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav. The legislator of the area too protested.
Authorities asked the protesters to file a First Information Report or FIR so that an investigation could be done.
"Some residents of village Tara Jivanpur are alleging that ink was put on their hands and money was given to them so that they would not be eligible to vote. I can assure that all people who are eligible to vote in the constituency will be able to cast their vote, action will be taken against those who are found guilty," Sub Divisional Magistrate Kumar Harsh told reporters.
The BJP has denied the allegations. "This is a ploy of our rivals to defame us. Why would the BJP do such things when we are already winning the seat by a huge margin?" BJP spokesperson Harish Srivastava said in Lucknow.
Thirteen seats in Uttar Pradesh are voting in seventh phase of the Lok Sabha election: Maharajganj, Gorakhpur, Kushinagar, Deoria, Bansgaon (SC), Ghosi, Salempur, Ballia, Ghazipur, Chandauli, Varanasi, Mirzapur and Robertsganj.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who was among the early voters in his stronghold of Gorakhpur, said, "People are fighting this election for nation''s interest and if someone cannot understand this thing, his IQ is questionable. The entire election revolved around Modiji. With big achievements of his government during the last five years, the BJP will win the election."
The votes will be counted on May 23.
(With inputs from ANI and IANS)