Kolaras bypolls: EC sends notice to BJP leader Yashodhara Raje Scindia for 'threatening' voters

Bhopal: The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Sunday issued a notice to Madhya Pradesh minister Yashodhara Raje Scindia for `threatening' voters during the campaigning for Kolaras Assembly by-election.

File image of BJP leader Yashodhara Raje Scindia. Twitter@yashodhararaje

File image of BJP leader Yashodhara Raje Scindia. Twitter@yashodhararaje

The ECI had received a complaint with a video, where Scindia is purportedly seen telling people that they won't get the benefit of government schemes if they don't vote for the BJP.

Following the complaint, a notice was served on Sunday, seeking her explanation by 20 February, said an EC official.

The notice said, "The commission has received a complaint about violation of Model Code of Conduct in a public speech by you at Gram Padora on 17 February in which you are alleged to have made statements amounting to threatening/intimidating of electors that they will not get the benefits of government schemes if they vote for the candidate other than the candidate of ruling party."

This may amount to use of "undue influence" in elections as defined in section 171-C of the IPC and the Representation of People Act, 1951, besides violation of the Model Code of Conduct, the EC said.

In the video, which went viral on social media on Sunday, Scindia is heard saying "if you vote for the hand (Congress symbol), you will not get the benefit of government schemes. If you vote for the lotus (BJP symbol), then only schemes would come to you."

"The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (for providing LPG connections to poor women) was introduced by the BJP. And if the voters choose the hand over the lotus, they will not benefit under the scheme.....Water would reach you only when you vote for the lotus. How many times you will vote for the hand and remain without water?" she purportedly said.

Scindia, the Sports and Youth Welfare minister in the Shivraj Singh Chouhan cabinet, is also heard saying that she is a minister and would not do any work recommended by a Congress MLA.

Assembly by-elections in Kolaras and Mungaoli were necessitated due to the death of Congress MLAs Mahendra Singh Kalukheda (Mungaoli) and Ram Singh Yadav (Kolaras). Polling is scheduled for 24 February.

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Updated Date: Feb 18, 2018 21:21:13 IST

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