A day after a video, purportedly featuring Deputy CM Ajit Pawar surfaced in which he allegedly threatened to cut off water supply to a village, the Election Commission (EC) has initiated an inquiry into the controversy.
Deputy CM Ajit Pawar has waded into fresh controversy after allegedly threatened to cut off water supply to a village if people there did not vote for his cousin. File pic
After the EC sought a report into the alleged comments, the state election officer asked the returning officer of Baramati Lok Sabha constituency to investigate the statement made by Pawar and register a case if sufficient proof was found.
Pawar waded into fresh controversy after threatening to cut off water supply to a village if people there did not vote for his cousin Supriya Sule, daughter of NCP chief Sharad Pawar, which was captured on camera.
The incident took place on Wednesday, a day before the polling at the constituency, and Pawar decided to visit the village when he was told that the villagers were planning to boycott the polling.
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate for Baramati and former IPS officer Suresh Khopade has alleged in his complaint to Vadgaon police station that Pawar issued the threat of cutting off water supply during an election speech at village Masalwadi. Shiv Sena party members are also reported to have approached the election authorities to lodge their complaint.
“If anybody from this village indulges in any trouble, I will cut off the water supply,” Pawar said in the dim and grainy footage after a villager reportedly insisted that he should announce a date to fix the water supply problem. “Supriya is getting plenty of votes from the constituency.
Accordingly, your votes will not change anything, as my sister was not going to win or lose because of your votes. But I will get to know from the voting machine whom you have voted for,” the deputy CM is alleged to have said.
Assistant Police Inspector Vilas Bhosale said that police had received Khopade’s complaint but so far no case has been registered against the deputy CM.
He said police and Election Commission officials would check the authenticity of the “poor quality” video before taking appropriate action. “Due process will be followed after preliminary investigations into the complaint,” he said.
'It wasn't me, it's a mimicry'
Pawar has claimed that the voice in the footage is not his and someone has mimicked him to defame him. The video clip shot when the alleged incident took place does not show Pawar, but only a voice in the background. Meanwhile, NCP spokesman Nawab Malik said the video was doctored and it was a publicity stunt by the AAP.