FIR against BJP MLA for asking people to ‘vote twice’ during Navi Mumbai rally

FIR against BJP MLA for asking people to 'vote twice' during Navi Mumbai rally
While addressing the rally, Mhatre (inset) allegedly said people should cast their votes two times as voting in Satara and Thane was scheduled to take place on two separate days

BJP MLA Manda Mhatre from the neighbouring Thane district was booked after she allegedly asked people to vote twice in the upcoming polls during a recent rally.

According to reports, the legislator allegedly made the remarks, which violate the model code of conduct in force for the April-May Lok Sabha polls, while speaking in Koparkhairane in Navi Mumbai Sunday.

Mhatre, an MLA from the Belapur assembly constituency in Thane district, was campaigning for Shiv Sena-BJP alliance candidates for the Lok Sabha Rajan Vichare (Thane) and Narendra Patil (Satara).

Addressing the rally, she allegedly said people should cast their votes two times as voting in Satara is scheduled on April 23 and in Thane on April 29.

Several of those gathered at the rally originally hailed from Satara in western Maharashtra, but worked in Navi Mumbai and Thane.

People should use their right of voting everywhere, she said.

After the speech, a complaint was filed by officials of the Election Commission, following which an offence under IPC sections 171 D (personation at elections) and 171 F (punishment for undue influence or personation at an election) was registered against Mhatre.

“An offence was registered against the MLA on the complaint of the Election Commission officials,” said Sudhakar Pathare, DCP (Zone-I).

The MLA, in her speech, made a statement about double voting, Pathare said, adding that after verifying the video and finding enough evidence, we will file a charge sheet and the court will take action.

Mhatre, meanwhile, tried to clarify her stand by stating that since many families had members in voting lists of either Satara or Thane, they should ensure that they cast their vote wherever their name was present.

That doesn’t mean that a person has to rub off the ink and vote again, she was quoted as saying.

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