Sharad Pawar's 'vote twice' remark triggers row
Union Agriculture Minister and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supremo Sharad Pawar on Sunday triggered a controversy by suggesting his party workers to vote twice in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
Pawar asked his party workers to take advantage of the multi-phase polling to take place in Maharashtra and cast their votes twice in two venues.
Addressing a conclave of 'mathadi' (head loaders) workers here, Pawar said, "This time polling in Satara will take place on April 17 and in Mumbai on April 24."
He asked workers to go to their villages in Satara district to vote there and then return to Mumbai and cast their votes in the city again.
However, he cautioned them to erase the ink mark on their fingers before casting their second votes.
"Do erase the ink marks," he said.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)'s Maharashtra unit on Sunday condemned Pawar's remark and said it would write to the Election Commission over the issue.
"Aam Aadmi Party strongly condemns Union Minister and NCP Chief Sharad Pawar's advise to voters to indulge in bogus voting," the AAP's Maharashtra unit said in a statement.
"AAP will write to the Election Commission and ask them to take strict action against Mr Pawar and his party NCP. Such brazen calls to indulge in corrupting our democratic processes must not go unpunished," it said.
The party said its polling booth volunteers would 'keep a vigil this time in every single polling booth in the state' and report any 'such cases' to the Election Commission.
(Posted on 24-03-2014)