Vote for my kin or face water shortage, says Ajit Pawar

Vote for my kin or face water shortage, says Ajit Pawar

Kicking up a fresh controversy for the Maharashtra Deputy chief minister, a video depicting Ajit Pawar has surfaced, in which he purportedly threatens to cut off water supply to villages if locals did not vote for his cousin Supriya Sule, who is also the daughter of NCP chief Sharad Pawar.

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate in Baramati and former IPS officer Suresh Khopade in his complaint to Vadgaon police station on Thursday alleged that Pawar made the threats while giving election speech in Masalwadi village on April 16, a video of which is believed to have aired on national television.

“If anybody from this village indulges in any trouble (failing to vote for Sule), I will cut off the water supply,” he said in the grainy footage after a villager reportedly insisted that he announce a date to fix the water supply problem.

He also asked policemen to remove the villager, while someone desperately pleaded in the background saying “Sorry, Dada! Sorry, Dada!”. Supporters fondly call the deputy chief minister “Ajit Dada’.

Assistant Police Inspector Vilas Bhosale said that police had received Khopade’s complaint, but no case had yet been registered against the deputy chief minister. He said police and Election Commission officials would check the authenticity of the “poor quality” video before taking appropriate action.

“Due process will be followed after preliminary investigations into the complaint,” he said. Bhosale said the complaint was filed with election authorities since the video was shot during electioneering, and added that police did not have a copy of the video.

“Khopade made the complaint to the police belatedly on April 17, while the actual speech was purportedly made on April 16,” he said.

The model code of conduct prohibits campaigning 48 hours prior to the closing time for casting votes and Pawar could face the charge of violating the code as the video was purportedly shot just a day ahead of the poll on April 17.

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