Chhattisgarh Minister Performs Puja Inside Polling Booth, Served Notice

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Chhattisgarh minister Dayaldas Baghel performed puja of an electronic voting machine inside a booth.


A video showing Chhattisgarh minister Dayaldas Baghel performing a puja of an electronic voting machine inside a booth when polling for the state Assembly election was underway has gone viral.

The returning officer of Nawagarh, from where Mr Baghel is contesting on a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ticket, has sought an explanation from the minister.

The video clip showed Mr Baghel, the minister for cooperatives and MLA from Nawagarh in Bemetara district, praying and offering a coconut inside the polling booth, apparently before the voting began.

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Nawagarh was among the 72 constituencies where polling was held in the second phase of the Chhattisgarh Assembly polls on Tuesday.

After the video went viral and was reported by the local media, the returning officer issued a notice to Mr Baghel, seeking an explanation within 24 hours, Bemetara Collector and District Election Officer Mahadev Kawre told PTI.

The collector said the booth number was not visible in the video, so the authorities were ascertaining in which booth the alleged incident, which amounted to violation of the poll code, took place.

Opposition Congress slammed the minister and the BJP over the video.

"In democracy, a leader has to worship the common people and the voters, not EVMs. The BJP and its ministers did not work for the people for 15 years and offering prayers to EVMs on the polling day will not work for them," Congress spokesperson Shailesh Nitin Trivedi said.

He demanded immediate action against Mr Baghel. Mr Baghel could not be contacted for his comments.

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