Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal gets himself in the centre of a controversy yet again as he urges voters to accept money from Congress and BJP but vote for the Aam Aadmi Party, during a series of road shows launched by his party ahead of May 12 polls.
This remark of his comes hours after he was served a notice by the Delhi CEO seeking his response over allegations made by the leader of the opposition, Vijender Gupta that pamphlets were being distributed by the party asking voters to take bribe from the Congress and the BJP but cast their votes in favour of AAP in the May 12 polls. The convener of AAP was also served a similar notice.
A senior official from the Delhi CEO’s office said, “We sent a notice to Arvind Kejriwal, convener of AAP, seeking his response on the matter. Kejriwal was asked to reply by Wednesday, 5 pm. But as the letter was dispatched late, we would wait for his reply till Thursday.”
Kejriwal, in his desperation, to win the ongoing elections, conveniently ignored the notice served to him hours before and shamelessly went on to repeat the same remark while addressing a cluster of slums in Wazirpur as a part of his road show in Chandni Chowk parliamentary constituency.
“Election se pehle doosri party paise baatne ayenge. Tab kya karoge? Paise sab se le lena par vote jhadoo ko de dena. “Election mein vote kisko diya hai kisiko pata nahi chalega, toh vote jhadoo ko dena.” (Before the elections, other parties would come and distribute money. What would you do then? Take all the money but cast your vote in favour of the broom (AAP’s election symbol). No one will come to know in whose favour you have cast your vote), Kejriwal said on Wednesday.
Kejriwal has earlier too faced the Election Commission’s resentment twice over this same remark, but somehow has failed to rectify himself.
In 2015 during the Delhi assembly elections, speaking at a rally at West Delhi’s Nawada area, Kejriwal had stirred a similar controversy when he asked voters in Delhi to take the money offered by the BJP and the Congress but “fool” them by voting for the AAP.
Similarly, during the Goa polls, in 2017, Kejriwal had unashamedly made the same remark saying, “If Congress or BJP candidates offer money, do not refuse it. Accept it as it is your own money and there is nothing wrong in getting it back. If they do not offer money, go to their offices and ask for it. But, when it comes to voting, press the button against the name of the AAP candidate.”
In December 2017, the returning officer had approached the Judicial Magistrate First Class in Mapusa with a plea that an offence under section 171 (B) (inducement to voters) and 171 E (bribery) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) be registered against Kejriwal.