Congress claims voters were threatened at polling station in Banaskantha; probe ordered

Palanpur (Gujarat), May 7 (PTI) The Banaskantha district collector on Tuesday ordered an inquiry after Congress Lok Sabha candidate Geniben Thakor alleged electors were threatened and asked to vote for the BJP by some youngsters posing as Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel at a polling station.

Upon getting a complaint from the Congress, Banaskantha collector Varunkumar Baranwal, who is also the returning officer, said he has asked the district superintendent of police and sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) to conduct an inquiry.

“I have forwarded her (Thakor’s) complaint to the district SP and SDM for further inquiry. We will take action after getting their reports,” assured Baranwal.

Thakor, a sitting MLA, is the Congress candidate from the Banaskantha Lok Sabha seat, one of the 25 constituencies in Gujarat where voting took place on May 7 in the third phase of elections. The BJP has fielded Rekhaben Chaudhary from the seat.

In a video she shared on her social media platform, Thakor can be seen holding a metal plate having the word ‘CRPF’ engraved on it. The video was shot outside a polling booth set up in Dhareda Primary School in Danta taluka of Banaskantha district.

“During my visit at this booth in Dhareda, I noticed some youths from the Chaudhary community were roaming in their vehicles having CRPF plate. They were threatening and pressuring voters of the area to vote for the BJP by identifying themselves as security personnel. I urge the SP as well as the Election Commission to take steps and file an FIR against them,” the Congress MLA demanded.

State Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi alleged voters of Dhareda and some other villages of Danta taluka were threatened by these youths.

“Since these youths were roaming in vehicles having CRPF plate, villagers were under the impression that they belonged to the police force. I have sent that video to the EC and sought action against those trying to intimidate voters,” said Doshi.

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