BJP candidate from Muzaffarnagar, Sanjeev Balyan, on Thursday stoked a controversy with his allegations that women clad in burqas were casting fake votes.
Sanjeev Balyan, the Bharatiya Janata Party candidate from Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh, kicked off a controversy with his allegations that women clad in burqas were casting fake votes in the first phase of polling for the Lok Sabha election that got underway today. Balyan is up against RLD’s Ajit Singh who is a candidate of the Grand Alliance in UP.
Speaking to news agency ANI, the Union minister said, “Faces of women in burkhas are not being checked and I allege that fake voting is being done. If not looked into, I will demand a repoll.”
Muzaffarnagar Lok Sabha seat is one of the 80 parliamentary constituencies in Uttar Pradesh. The seat is Jat and Muslim dominated. Jat compromises nearly 2.50 lakh and Muslims about 5.20 lakh of the total population of 13.53 lakh.
In 2014, BJP’s Sanjeev had defeated BSP’s Kadhir Rana by nearly four lakh votes. Samajwadi Party’s then nominee Virender Singh had got 1.60 lakh votes and Congress’ Pankaj Agarwal had come a distant four. This time, the seat is witnessing a direct contest between BJP and BSP-SP-RLD combine. The Congress has not given ticket to anyone from here. Muzaffarnagar is one of the seven seats the Congress has left for the ‘grand alliance’. However, the Congress is not a constituent of the alliance in Uttar Pradesh. As per the seat-sharing agreement, the Samajwadi Party is contesting from 37 seats, Mayawati’s BSP from 38 seats and Ajit Singh’s RLD from three seats. They have left Amethi and Rae Bareli seats for Congress.
Muzaffarnagar falls in the western region of Uttar Pradesh. It had witnessed one of the most violent riots in 2013. At least 60 people were killed and over 50,000 were displaced.
A total of eight Lok Sabha seats in western Uttar Pradesh are going to polls today. These seats are Muzaffarnagar, Baghpat, Meerut, Gautam Buddh Nagar, Ghaziabad, Kairana, Saharanpur and Bijnor. The remaining 72 seats will go to polls in six phases on April 18, April 23, April 29, May 6, May 12 and May 19. Results will be declared on May 23.