Gujarat elections: BJP MLA says he doesn’t care about EC, gets notice

A video of BJP Bhushan Bhatt showed him telling party workers not to care about the poll code and that he doesn’t care about the poll code.

assembly elections Updated: Dec 13, 2017 22:22 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, Ahmedabad
Gujarat elections,BJP MLA,Election Commission
Bharatiya Janata Party flags seen around the BJP supporters participating in a rally addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Not Pictured) at Surendranagar, some 130 km from Ahmedabad. (AFP Photo)

District election authorities have issued a show-cause notice to Bhushan Bhatt, a BJP MLA from the city, for allegedly saying that he does not care about the Election Commission while offering money to those attending Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally.

Bhatt, whom the BJP has fielded from Jamalpur-Khadia seat this time too, was caught up in the controversy after a video, purportedly showing him making the statement, went viral on Tuesday, a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a rally at the Sabarmati Riverfront.

Jamalpur-Khadia is among the 93 seats where the second phase of polling for Gujarat Assembly elections will be held on Thursday.

“We came across that video yesterday and ordered an inquiry. The Ahmedabad district election authorities have also served him a show-cause notice,” said the state’s chief electoral officer BB Swain.

Asad Khan, a city-based lawyer, lodged a complaint with the Gujarat CEO against Bhatt for “bribing voters and supporters as well as insulting the EC and its poll code” yesterday.

“Our PM’s rally is at Sabarmati Riverfront. Before that, arrange a rally of 4,000 to 5,000 two-wheelers here (Khadia) and then come to that venue. I am telling you again, just don’t worry about the EC. I don’t care about the EC. Let them do whatever they want to,” Bhushan is purportedly heard telling his supporters in the video.

He can also be heard offering petrol expenses to his supporters, and more than Rs 200 to each person they bring for the PM’s rally, held on the night of December 11.

“Don’t be under the impression that people will get just Rs 200. I know that people of this area are not rich. Just ensure a large crowd,” Bhatt purportedly said.

In his complaint, Khan requested the EC and the Gujarat CEO to lodge an FIR against Bhatt, and defer the election in Jamalpur-Khadia constituency. PTI PJT PD KRK

First Published: Dec 13, 2017 22:22 IST