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Gujarat MLA gets EC notice over ‘PM Modi has installed cameras in booths’ remark

In a video that is doing rounds on social media, Ramesh Katara, a Gujarat BJP legislator, is heard telling the voters that PM Modi has got CCTV cameras installed inside the polling booth to keep an eye who is voting for which party.

lok sabha elections Updated: Apr 16, 2019 19:12 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Dahod, Gujarat
Ramesh katara,Lok Sabha elections,Gujarat
Bharatiya Janata Party’s Gujarat MLA Ramesh Katara,(Photo credit: Facebook)

The Election Commission has sent notice to a Gujarat Bharatiya Janata Party legislator Ramesh Katara for asking voters to press the kamal (BJP’s election symbol) button on the electronic voting machines (EVM) as Prime Minister Narendra Modi has installed CCTV cameras in polling booths and he will stop giving work to villages that do not vote for the party candidate.

The two-day old video of Katara was shot while he was campaigning for Dahod BJP candidate Jasvantsinh Bhabhor. Dahod is one of total four seats reserved for Scheduled Tribes in Gujarat. All 26 seats in Gujarat will go for poll on April 23.

“Today, we have sent a notice to Katara after examining the video. He has been asked to reply in a day,” said Dahod district collector and election officer V K Kharadi.

In the clip, the MLA from Fatepura, which comes under the Dahod Lok Sabha constituency, is purportedly seen claiming PM Modi will stop giving work to the village if its residents do not vote for Bhabhor, a union minister.

He was also heard in the video saying, “Press the button (on EVM) having the photo of Bhabhor and lotus (BJP’s) symbol. This time, Modi saheb has installed cameras (in polling booths). While sitting there, he would know who had voted for the BJP and who voted for the Congress.”

“If votes (to the BJP) will be less in your booth, less development work will be done. Modi saheb, while sitting there, would find out that you did something wrong. Your photos are there on election card, Aadhaar card and even on ration card,” said Katara, while warning the villagers.

Katara, however, has termed the allegations baseless calling the viral video as doctored. “Someone released fake and doctored video on social media. It is a political conspiracy. I have never threatened voters,”, he said.

The BJP spokesperson Prashant Vala, said, “The BJP is against use of unparliamentary language. Nobody is allowed to do so. And, Katara has clarified that he was trying to tell tribal voters to vote for the development.”

First Published: Apr 16, 2019 18:40 IST