Sharad Pawar retracts on the bogus voting statement issued by him. Opposition parties file complaint against him.
Politicians always issue some controversial statement and later retract them. This time Union Minister for Agriculture and NCP president Sharad Pawar took a U turn over the bogus voting remark made by him. Pawar had asked the Mathadi workers to vote on April 17 in their hometown Satara and excercise their franchise in Mumbai on April 20. The Maratha strong man said that the statements were made by him in lighter vein. He also added that his comments were misinterpreted. The Election Commission has already sought the tapes of Pawar’s speech delivered at Mumbai and will take decision after examining it.
“I wasn’t addressing any public or election meeting. My statement was misinterpreted,” said Pawar.
Later, Pawar hurriedly called a press conference to say that the controversy should now be put to rest. “Firstly, I was not addressing any public or election meeting. It was a meeting on the occasion of the 32nd death anniversary of the late Annasaheb Patil, where mathadi workers had assembled to pay homage to the departed leader,” he said
“Secondly, my statement was simply a joke and not at all suggested commission of any act violative of the election laws or rules,” Pawar said.
“Aam Aadmi Party will write to the Election Commission and ask them to take strict action against Pawar and his party NCP,” a statement issued by Maharashtra unit of AAP said.
“Such brazen calls to indulge in corrupting our democratic processes must not go unpunished,” said the statement signed by Preety Menon-Sharma, state unit secretary.
The statement further said AAP volunteers will keep a vigil this time in every single polling booth across Maharashtra to prevent “bogus voting” and will report to EC if it detects any such cases.
BJP leader Kirit Somaiya submitted a letter to State Chief Electoral Officer, seeking action against Pawar under the Act, He said, “Pawar should be removed from the Union ministry and ban must be imposed on NCP”
Somaiya also met senior IPS officer Deven Bharti (Special Inspector General of Police, DGP Office), seeking action against Pawar.
Leader of opposition in the state legislative council Vinod Tawde and AAP immediately approached the police and the Election Commission. They have demanded action against Pawar for “violations” of the code of conduct, The Representation of the People Act and the IPC.
Denouncing Pawar, Tawde said, “We have a CD of Pawar’s speech. We will submit it to the chief electoral officer and the EC. It’s a blatant contravention of the code of conduct. The EC should initiate criminal proceedings.”