An independent candidate in Uttar Pradesh has said that “making money” is his sole agenda for contesting the assembly polls in the state, a remark that could invite the Election Commission’s wrath for potentially violating its code of conduct.
Gopal Chaudhary is contesting from Agra South where voting will be held in the first phase on February 11.
“Mera chunaav mein koi mudda nahin, bas ek personal mudda hain…mujhe paisa kamaana hai, invest karna hai and saari suvidhaye khari karna hain (I have no agenda. I only have a personal agenda…I want to make money and invest it,” Chaudhary told reporters on Thursday.
A video clip of his interview has gone viral on social media with many praising him for his “honesty” while others ridiculed him for demeaning the democratic tradition of voting.
“This is what is happening in politics…whoever comes into politics makes money, fills his home. Look at what the ministers of Samajwadi Party are doing. I will also do the same,” he said in Hindi, accusing leaders of the ruling party of corruption.
Asked how he will win the elections, Chaudhary said he will fool the voters like “others”.
“Itni badi Hindustan mein, sawa so crore janata ko bewakoof bana kar koi banda PM ban jaata hai, toh uss mein koi kaabiliyat toh hogi. Waise hi mai bhi bewakoof banaunga (In such a large country like India, if one man can fool 125 crore people and become the prime minister, it means that he must have some capability of fooling the public. So, why can’t I do it? I will also fool public. I will use all my wits),” he said, in what appeared to be a reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
He also laid out his plans for making money, saying that 25% of the development funds could be his. He admitted to being without full knowledge of making money but added that he will learn quickly with the help of government officials.
Many people said on social media said Chaudhary’s comments have a ring of truth as corruption has allegedly become all-pervading in politics.
Over the years, the poll panel has implemented a raft of measures clean up elections and politics, barring those convicted in criminal cases from contesting elections. It has also imposed caps on election expenditure to end corrupt practices in elections.
The EC’s model of conduct is in force in Uttar Pradesh where voting will be held in seven phases.