In the thick of the election season, all political parties are scrambling to woo (threaten or even scare) voters. This may not be new, but the ways in which political leaders are canvassing for votes are getting more bizarre everyday.
And no, there is simply no other word to describe the various statements (read: warnings) that have been issued during the campaigning for the 2019 elections.
We will start with the most bizarre one yet.
‘Electric shock’ if you vote for anyone other than Congress
“You have to press the first button to vote for Biresh Thakur. The second button will give you a ‘current (shock)’. The third button will also give you one. But we have fixed the first button,” the minister, Kawasi Lakhma, was quoted as saying in the report.
He was speaking at a rally in the state’s Kanker district. Lakhma has been issued a notice by the Election Commission.
‘Modi has installed cameras in polling booth’
A video surfaced on social media purportedly showing a Gujarat BJP MLA telling electors that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has installed cameras in polling booths to find out who was not voting for party candidates.
The MLA, Ramesh Katara, allegedly made the remarks while addressing a small campaign rally in support of BJP’s Lok Sabha candidate from Dahod, Jasvantsinh Bhabhor, in a village.
“Press the button (on EVM) having the photo of Bhabhor and lotus (BJP’s) symbol. This time, Modi saheb has installed cameras (in polling booths). While sitting there, he would know who had voted for the BJP and who voted in favour of the Congress,” Katara is heard saying in the video.
“If votes (to the BJP) are less in your booth, you will be given less work. Modi saheb, while sitting there, would find out that you did something wrong. Your photos are there on election card, Aadhaar card and even on ration card,” said Katara, warning the villagers.
The ‘ABCD’ of votes
After threatening Muslim voters that she would have second thoughts about helping them if she wins from the Sultanpur seat without the community’s help, Union minister Maneka Gandhi came up with an ‘ABCD’ formula.
Gandhi said that villages will be divided according to the percentage of votes the BJP gets and development work will be carried out accordingly.
″The village where we get 80% votes is A, the village in which we get 60% is B, the village in which we get 50% is C and the village where we get less than 50% is D. The development work first happens in all A category villages. After work at A category regions is done, then comes B and only after work in B is done, we start with C. So this is up to you whether you make it to A, B or C and no one should come in D because we all have come here to do good,” she had said.
And, finally the ‘curse’ warning
BJP candidate from Unnao Sakshi Maharaj has been caught on camera saying if people don’t vote for his party, he will curse them.
“Ek sanyasi aapke darwaaze par aaya hai. Jab ek sanyaasi aapke darwaaze par aata hai, bhiksha maangta hai aur agar usko bhiksha nahi milti hai toh jaante hain wo grihasti ke punya le jaata hai aur apne paap de jata hai. (A saint has has come to your door. When a saint comes to beg and isn’t given what he asks for, he takes away all the happiness of the family and in turn gives a curse to the family. This I am not saying, but quoting from sacred scriptures),” he was quoted as saying by The Times of India.
While the politicians are finding their weird ways of asking for votes, we can only guess what the voters are thinking.