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Lok Sabha Polls 2024 | BJP intimidating people, asking them to either vote for them or refrain, alleges Gujarat Congress chief

The opposition party also released a phone number for voters to share the evidence, if they have any, against police or administrative officials trying to intimidate or pressure them to vote in favour of the BJP.
Last Updated : 24 April 2024, 09:46 IST
Last Updated : 24 April 2024, 09:46 IST

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Ahmedabad: Gujarat Congress president Shaktisinh Gohil on Wednesday alleged that the BJP was intimidating voters and asking them to either vote in its favour or refrain from voting in the Lok Sabha elections.

The ruling party in the state was misusing the government machinery to pressure the voters, he claimed.

The opposition party also released a phone number for voters to share the evidence, if they have any, against police or administrative officials trying to intimidate or pressure them to vote in favour of the BJP.

"It is a fundamental principle of democracy that the sacred festival of elections should be held neutrally without fear or bias. I have received representations from voters that they are being intimidated or pressured by the police and the administrative officials to vote in favour of the ruling party or refrain from voting," Gohil said in a video message.

He then urged the voters to make a video or audio recording of the criminal act of intimidation on their mobile phones, and if they have access to CCTV footage or stealth camera, they should collect the evidence and send it to WhatsApp number 8200059989 at the Congress party's war room at its state headquarters.

The development comes days after the nomination form of a Congress candidate from Surat, Nilesh Kumbhani, was rejected over discrepancies in proposers' signature, which Gohil claimed happened because the party candidate was intimidated by the BJP.

"The police and government employees are public servants, and your religion is to act neutrally without fear and you are expected to perform your sacred duty as a public servant," he said.

He also urged the voters to collect and save the evidence against officials or ministers or functionaries of the party in power so that they can use them when those who asked them to threaten people back out.

They can use the evidence against them as and when needed, Gohil added.

He also accused the people in power of approaching Congress candidates across the state and using various means to force them to withdraw their candidature.

"But they stood their ground and are worthy of salute"' the Congress leader said.

On Sunday, Gohil claimed that the nomination form of the party's Surat Lok Sabha seat candidate Kumbhani was rejected at the behest of the BJP as it has sensed its defeat in the Lok Sabha elections.

Kumbhani's form was rejected and other candidates eventually withdrew their nominations, leading to BJP's Mukesh Dalal winning the election unopposed.

Gohil claimed that Kumbhani was intimidated by the BJP.

"It hatched a conspiracy to get the forms of Congress candidates cancelled by hook or by crook. Kumbhani was their target ever since he filed his nomination form because BJP sensed defeat in Surat seat," he said.

Elections to the 26 Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat will be held on May 7.

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Published 24 April 2024, 09:46 IST

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