This Article is From Jan 31, 2017

Goa Elections 2017: Voting Is Pure, Says Defence Minister Parrikar Amid Row Over Bribe Talk

Manohar Parrikar's comments on bribes for votes were flagged to Election Commission by Arvind Kejriwal

New Delhi: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, whose comments in Goa on bribes for votes have been flagged to the Election Commission by Arvind Kejriwal, yesterday appeared to attempt a correction by saying that "voting is a pure deed".

"I want to say this to you: please do not fall for any greed. Voting is a pure deed... The government is for the next generation. So, while electing a government, you have to decide what the coming government will give us," Mr Parrikar said at a rally in Porvorim on Monday night.

A day before, the minister had told a small crowd at Chimbel near Panaji: "...I understand if someone organises a rally and you take Rs 500 for moving around with (the candidate), that is not a problem. But when you vote, choose the lotus (BJP's poll symbol). This you must remember."

Regional party Goa Forward has registered a complaint with the Election Commission, saying that if action is being taken against Mr Kejriwal for similar comments, the Defence Minister should not be spared.

On the Election Commission's directive, an FIR has been filed against Mr Kejriwal for saying at a rally in Benaulim earlier this month: "If Congress or BJP candidates offer money, do not refuse it. Accept it as your own money. But when it comes to voting, press the button against the name of the AAP candidate."

In several tweets, the Delhi Chief Minister has dared the Election Commission to take action against Mr Parrikar. Today, he also posted a video of the minister's comments.

"Will EC dare take action against Manohar Parrikar?" Mr Kejriwal said in tweets, adding, "I urge PMO to allow EC to act against Parrikar."

The Congress also demanded action against Mr Parrikar.

Goa will vote on February 4 for a new 40-seat assembly.