Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Amethi Lok Sabha candidate Smriti Irani on Monday accused the Congress of booth capturing as voting is currently underway in the constituency where she is challenging Rahul Gandhi. She alleged that that Congress chief Rahul Gandhi was "ensuring booth capturing".
While talking to media, the Union Minister said, "I tweeted an alert to administration and Election Commission, hope they take action.” "People of the country have to decide whether this kind of politics of Rahul Gandhi should be punished or not," she added.
Smriti Irani also accused Rahul Gandhi of resorting to stealing votes in desperation. "He is already a land thief and now is also stealing votes," the Minister added. "They said that chowkidar chor hai but they are the ones who are stealing votes. Rahul Gandhi will have to answer for such acts and the administration must look into the matter," she concluded. Irani, meanwhile, questioned the absence of the Gandhi scion from Amethi.
Earlier, in the day, Smriti Irani tweeted saying, "Alert @ECISVEEP Congress President @RahulGandhi ensuring booth capturing."
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The Minister also tagged a video in which an elderly women is seen claiming that she was forced to vote for the Congress even though she had planned to press the button against the BJP's lotus symbol on the voting machine.
"They forcibly took my hand and made me press panja," the elderly woman said in the video.
However, there is no written complaint on the matter.
On the other hand, the Congress said Smriti Irani was ‘looking for excuses’. Dismissing Irani’s allegation, the Congress said that the BJP candidate was staring at a defeat and so ‘looking for excuses’. Congress spokesperson Zeeshan Haider said, “It now is more than clear that she has lost. Now, she is looking for excuses. If Rahul Gandhi ji is capturing booths, and capturing votes, then what is the election commission doing that has been working in a biased manner in favour of Modi and Amit Shah.”
It is to be noted that Amethi had witnessed a bitter battle between the two leaders in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections as well. Rahul Gandhi had won the seat with a reduced margin of one lakh votes compared to three lakh votes in 2009.
There are five assembly segments in the Amethi Lok Sabha constituency - Amethi town, Gauriganj, Jagdishpur, Tiloi and Salon. Of the five assembly segments, four are represented by the BJP and one by the SP. Salon and Jagdishpur are reserved constituencies.