Hyderabad BJP candidate Madhavi Latha booked for asking women voters to lift burqa | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Hyderabad BJP candidate Madhavi Latha booked for asking women voters to lift burqa

May 13, 2024 04:49 PM IST

A video of Hyderabad BJP candidate Madhavi Latha asking women voters to lift their burqa to disclose their identity went viral on social media

The Hyderabad police on Monday registered a case against Madhavi Latha, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s Hyderabad Parliament constituency candidate, for allegedly trespassing into a polling station and asking some Muslim women voters to remove their burqa and reveal their identity, people familiar with the matter said.

BJP candidate Madhavi Latha checks identity of voters at a polling station during the fourth phase of Lok Sabha elections in Hyderabad on Monday. (PTI)
BJP candidate Madhavi Latha checks identity of voters at a polling station during the fourth phase of Lok Sabha elections in Hyderabad on Monday. (PTI)

Based on a direction from Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation commissioner, Ronald Rose, who is also the returning officer for Hyderabad LS constituency, the Malakpet police registered a case against Madhavi Latha under Sections 171C (voluntarily interfering in the exercise of electoral right), 186 (voluntarily obstructing a public servant from discharging of duties) and 505 (1)(c) (circulation of a statement with an intent to incite a class or community) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), besides Section 132 of the Representation of the People Act.

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Earlier in the day, the BJP candidate visited a polling station (No. 122) at Azampura in Malakpet assembly segment and started enquiring about the Muslim women voters about their identity.

A video of Madhavi Latha asking the women voters to remove their burqa to disclose their identity went viral on social media. She was apparently seeking to verify whether the faces of the women voters tallied the images on their Electoral Photo Identity Cards (EPIC).

To be sure, candidates do not have the right to check the identity of the voters including burqa-clad women. This responsibility lies with polling officials who are required to establish the identity of voters wearing veils.

She alleged that there were several discrepancies in the voters’ list and hence, she came there to verify the same. “The Police personnel seem very dull, they are not active...They are not checking anything,” she tweeted on social media platform X.

She said senior citizen voters are coming here but their names are deleted from the list. “A few of them are residents of Goshamahal but their names are in the list of Rangareddy,” she pointed out.

Madhavi Latha defended her decision and said there was nothing wrong in her move to ask some women voters to verify their identity. “I am a candidate, and every candidate has the right to verify the credentials of the voters who were wearing face masks or burqa,” she told reporters.

She said being a woman herself, she had all the respect for women. “I only requested them to disclose their identity. If anybody makes it a big issue, it is apparent that they are afraid of exposure of their malpractices,” she said.

Madhavi Latha alleged that there was bogus polling at several polling stations on a large scale. “Even the votes of people who had died in the last few years were also polled,” she said, adding she would lodge a complaint with the Election Commission of India against the irregularities in Azampura and Goshamahal.

The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) did not react on the development, but shared the tweet of Hyderabad Collector stating that a criminal case was booked against Madhavi Latha.

Madhavi Latha is contesting against AIMIM candidate and sitting Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Srinivasa Rao is Senior Assistant Editor based out of Hyderabad covering developments in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana . He has over three decades of reporting experience.

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