BJP's Lok Sabha candidate for Uttar Pradesh's Badaun Sanghmitra Maurya courted fresh controversy on Saturday after asking her supporters to opt for fake voting. In a video, that has gone viral on social media, Ms Maurya is seen asking people to resort to fake voting if the actual voters were unable to cast their votes.
Amid applause and laughter, the BJP leader tells her supporters that all votes should be cast but if that doesn't happen, she suggests fake voting is the go-to option.
"Fake voting happens everywhere, if you get a chance take advantage of the situation," Ms Maurya said in Hindi, amid cheers.
She then laughs and says not to do it but quickly goes back to her earlier words asking her supporters to cast fake votes if the actual voter is not present.
"You can do it (cast fake votes) a little, secretively," she said amidst peals of laughter from the crowd.
Sanghmitra Maurya, however, said the video was cropped and edited.
"I will never encourage anyone to do farzi (fake) work. What I have said is being shown wrongly. It has been cropped and has been edited. What I have said is that those absent on polling day must be talked to," she told news agency ANI.
District Magistrate Dinesh Kumar Singh, when contacted by news agency PTI, said he was not aware of the matter but would look into the claims.
Daughter of Uttar Pradesh Minister Swami Prasad Maurya, she had hit headlines last month by saying that she would become a goon if anyone tried to bully the people of Badaun.
"If someone resorts to 'goondaism' during the election, you should not be afraid because I am a bigger goon and will guard your self-respect," she had said.
Ms Maurya is pitted against Samajwadi Party lawmaker Dharmendra Yadav from Badun which goes to the polls in the third phase on April 23.
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