Bhartiya Janata Party’s Maharashtra state President Raosaheb Danve on Saturday created controversy on the eve of the local municipal council elections when he said that ‘Laxmi’ might suddenly give ‘darshan’ on the day and when hse does, people should welcome it and not return it. While the statement refers to the Hindu goddess Laxmi, it must be noted that she is worshipped in the country as the goddess of wealth. According to DNA, Danve later went dived into damage control after opposition parties picked up on the controversial statement and said that the was only asking the people to welcome the goddess and not alluding to money.
The opposition Congress had highly objected to Danve’ statement and had said that he was indirectly asking people to accept money during his election campaign. The Congress also asked the State Election Commission to register a case of violating the model code of election against him. According to reports, Sachin Sawant, Congress state party spokesperson said that party would approach the SEC, although he believed that the Commission should take cognisance of remarks such as Danve’s on its own.
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Meanwhile, according to Business Standard, various social activists are also reported to have written to Maharashtra State Election Commission and urged it to issue a “show cause” notice to the Bhartiya Janata Party(BJP). According to toVishwambhar Choudhari and Anjali Damania, the BJP state President’s remarks directly mean that political parties bribe people with cash to vote for them and Danve’s statement implied that the voters should accept this money without any hesitation.