Union minister and the BJP’s Amethi candidate Smriti Irani, on May 6 (Monday) alleged that Congress party chief Rahul Gandhi was “ensuring booth capturing” in the constituency.
Smriti Irani and Rahul Gandhi are battling it out against each other in the seat.
“I tweeted an alert to administration and Election Commission (alleging booth capturing in Amethi), hope they take action,” Smriti Irani told the media here. “People of the country have to decide whether this kind of politics of Rahul Gandhi should be punished or not,” she said.
“Alert @ECISVEEP Congress President @Rahul Gandhi ensuring booth capturing,” Smriti Irani wrote on Twitter.
She then tagged a video in which an elderly lady can be seen alleging that her hand was forcibly put on ‘panja’ (hand) election symbol of the Congress though she wholeheartedly wanted to vote for the ‘kamal’ (lotus), the BJP’s identity. “They forcibly took my hand and made me press panja (hand – Congress symbol),” the woman said in the video.
However, there is no written complaint regarding the matter.
Amethi is one of the 51 constituencies in 7 states that is voting in the 5th round of the 7-phase Lok Sabha elections.
The tweet went viral on Twitter after a BJP worker posted video of an elderly woman who claimed that she was forced to vote for the Congress party even though she had planned to press the button for “lotus” symbol on the voting machine.
Smriti Irani also accused Rahul Gandhi of resorting to “stealing” votes in despair. “He is already a land thief and now is also stealing votes,” said Ms Irani.
“They said that ‘chowkidar chor hai’, but they are the ones who are stealing votes. Rahul Gandhi will have to answer for such acts and the administration must look into the matter,” said the Union Minister.
Rahul Gandhi is now seeking re-election from Amethi, the constituency he has held since the year 2004. However, in the 2014 election, he won by a reduced margin of about one lakh over his challenger BJP’s Smriti Irani.