Rajasthan BJP minister Dhan Singh Rawat booked for seeking 'Hindu votes' after campaign video goes viral on social media

Jaipur: A Rajasthan minister has been booked under the Representation of the People Act for allegedly promoting enmity between two groups in his speech at an election rally last week, officials said. A video has gone viral on social media in which Panchayati Raj and Rural Development Minister Dhan Singh Rawat can be seen as purportedly saying, "If Muslims can vote unitedly for Congress, then all Hindus can also unite and go with the BJP and make it win with a thumping majority."

At the public meeting in Banswara district on Saturday, the Bharatiya Janata Party legislator had claimed that his party was a "protector" of the "sanatan sanskriti" (traditional culture)' of India and termed the Congress a "party of Muslims". State Chief Electoral Officer Anand Kumar said the district election department had lodged an FIR and the matter was being investigated.

A case has been registered against Rawat at Banswara Kotwali police station on Monday under Section 125 (promoting enmity between classes in connection with election) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, Circle Officer Ghanshyam Sharma told PTI. The officer added that investigation was on in the matter.

Days after Rawat's purported comments drew criticism, state BJP president Madan Lal Saini clarified that the party does not discriminate on the basis of caste and religion. "We represent every Indian living in the country. Development of each section of society is our slogan and we do not represent any particular community," party vice-president and Rajasthan in-charge Avinash Rai Khanna said. The state goes to polls on 7 December.

Updated Date: Oct 30, 2018 17:17:36 IST