A minister in Chhattisgarh is in trouble after he said voters will get an electric shock if they press any other button other than the first button on the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM). Kawasi Lakhma, the “honourable” minister for excise, commerce and industries in Chhattisgarh, said this during an election rally in the state on Wednesday.
The Election Commission has reportedly issued him a notice seeking an explanation for his comment.
While campaigning for the Congress party, Kawasi Lakhma said: “Aapko pehla number button dabana hai. Dusre number ka button dabaoge toh current lagega..,usmain current hai. Teesre number button main bhi current hai (You have to press the first button in the EVM. If you press the second button, you will get an electric shockthere is current in it. You will get an electric shock even if you press the third button).”
Kawasi Lakhma is a seasoned politician from Chhattisgarh.
His bizarre comment came just a day before the second phase of voting for the Lok Saha election. Three Lok Sabha seats, Rajnandgaon, Kanker and Mahasamund, in Chhattisgarh will go to polls on April 18.
The Election Commission sent Lakhma a notice, asking him to explain his statement within three days. The Bharatiya Janata Party’s state unit had lodged a complaint with the poll panel.
Watch The Video
BJP state president Vikram Usendi condemned Lakhma’s statement and said that the minister had misled voters by giving them wrong information on voting machines. Usendi said Lakhma’s remarks violated the Model Code of Conduct.
The remarks aren’t the first of their kind in these elections. Politicians across party lines have tried to coerce people into voting for their party.
Also on Tuesday, Ramesh Katara, a BJP legislator from Fatehpura, was caught on camera warning people that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had installed cameras in voting booths to check if they were voting for the ruling party.
Mr Katara was criticized for his remarks by RJD chief Lalu Yadav. He was also served an Election Commission notice for his remarks.
Threats such as these have also come from senior members of the central government.
Earlier, BJP candidate and union minister Maneka Gandhi warned Muslims in her seat of Sultanpur that if they didn’t vote for her, they should not expect help when she won the election. She made a similar remark while campaigning for her son, Varun Gandhi, in the Pilibhit constituency, suggesting villages would receive government help on the basis of the BJP’s winning margin in each. The Election Commission banned Mrs Gandhi from campaigning for 48 hours.
The Lok Sabha election is being conducted in seven phases. Voting for the seventh place will take place on May 19.
Results of the 2019 Lok Sabha election will be declared on May 23.
What do you think about this? Tell us in the comments section and stay connected with Awaaznation for all updates.