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Gujarat: Rajkot BJP MP threatens Congress member for 75 per cent votes from village, audio clip goes viral

Both the leaders have refuted allegations against them. Kundariya, a sitting MP, said the purported audio tape is a handiwork of the Congress, while Khant said he never distributed cash to voters.

Published: 14th April 2019 10:57 PM  |   Last Updated: 14th April 2019 11:17 PM   |  A+A-

elections, cash

Image used for representational purpose.

By PTI

AHMEDABAD: Separate incidents of alleged inducement and threat to voters, purportedly involving leaders of the BJP and the Congress, have come to light in Gujarat in the run-up to Lok Sabha elections.

An audiotape of BJP candidate from Rajkot Lok Sabha constituency Mohan Kundariya allegedly threatening a Congress member of the Rajkot district panchayat for votes has gone viral, whereas Congress' Panchmahals nominee V K Khant is purportedly seen distributing money to voters in a photo, which is also circulated on social media.

Both the leaders have refuted allegations against them. Kundariya, a sitting MP, said the purported audio tape is a handiwork of the Congress, while Khant said he never distributed cash to voters.

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In the audio clip, Kundariya can be purportedly heard telling Nanu Dodiya, a member of the Congress from Rajkot district panchayat, that if he doesn't ensure that 75 per cent votes from his Kothariya village are cast in favour of the MP, the latter will close down the milk union mandli in the village.

Dodiya told reporters that he recorded Kundariya's "threat call" on his mobile phone. When contacted, Kundariya said, "The people of my constituency know that I have not used any threatening language. This clip is a handiwork of the Congress party," he claimed. 

Congress candidate from Rajkot Lalit Kagathara said the BJP was using threatening language because it does not believe in democracy.

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Patidar quota spearhead and Congress leader Hardik Patel also slammed Kundariya, saying the BJP is using "abusive language" because they are sensing defeat in Gujarat.

This is not the first incident wherein BJP leaders have allegedly threatened people in the run-up to elections.

Earlier, BJP MLA from Vaghodiya constituency, Madhu Shrivastav had threatened voters in a public meeting that he would "take action" agains them if they failed to vote for the BJP candidate from Vadodara constituency.

In another incident, state minister Kunvarji Bavaliya was filmed saying that as a village did not vote for him during bypolls, he may not make arrangement of water for them.

Reacting to the purported photo of V K Khant, the BJP has alleged that the Congress candidate was distributing notes of Rs 500 to voters.

"Congress candidate from Panchmahals, Khant was distributing notes of Rs 500 to voters ahead of the elections. He is a moneyed man who was trying to bribe voters," claimed Khant's challenger Ratanshinh Rathod of the BJP. However, Khant denied the allegations.

"The photo shows some notes (money) in my hand, but I have never distributed those notes to voters with whom I was interacting. I was trying to take out a handkerchief and with it the notes might have come out," Khant told reporters. The alleged incident occurred on April 9. Reacting to the development, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said the Congress was "synonymous" with corruption which just wants to bribe their way to Lok Sabha. The BJP is planning to complain to the Election Commission against Khant.

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