Capture poll booths, SP leader to wrestlers

Samajwadi Party (SP) nominee from Gautam Buddh Nagar Lok Sabha seat Narendra Bhati landed in trouble after he allegedly asked the ‘pehelwans’ (wrestlers) to “capture” polling booths “without bothering” for the consequences.

A case was registered against Bhati in this regard by the police for violation of the model code of conduct.

Bhati, who had shot into limelight after he had claimed that he had got Durga Shakti Nagpal, the then sub-divisional magistrate at G B Nagar, suspended within 41 minutes after she allegedly ordered demolition of an under construction wall of a religious place in the district following a court order.

“You (pehelwans) do not have to worry about anything. We are in the government. Cases will be withdrawn. You must ensure 90 per cent voting at the polling booths under any circumstances,” Bhati told the wrestlers during a meeting in the constituency on Monday.

In the state capital, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav almost defended Bhati when he said that ‘pehelwans’ too were entitled to votes. “Are the wrestlers not entitled to vote. Our party has many wrestlers,” Akhilesh said on Tuesday here.

The opposition parties slammed the SP for “patronising” criminal elements.

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