New Delhi: The battle for Amethi got bitter on Monday as BJP candidate Smriti Irani, who has thrown a strong challenge to Congress President Rahul Gandhi, alleged booth capturing in the constituency.
Amethi, which has almost always been held by the Congress with four members of the Nehru-Gandhi family representing it, barring a few short spells, went to polls in the fifth phase of polls along with 50 other constituencies in Eastern UP.
Rahul Gandhi and Smriti Irani are tied a direct contest with the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party alliance not fielding any candidates here. Rahul Gandhi is also contesting from Kerala’s Wayanad seat, which went to polls on April 23.
This time, the BJP top brass has put in its might in a bid to defeat the Congress President with Ms Irani and BJP President Amit Shah holding a joint rally in the high-profile seat where campaigning ended on Saturday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had campaigned for Ms Irani last month.
On Monday, Ms Irani upper the stakes alleging booth capturing in her constituency while taking a dig at her Congress opponent Rahul Gandhi.
“I tweeted an alert to administration and EC (alleging booth capturing in Amethi), hope they take action. People of the country have to decide whether this kind of politics of Rahul Gandhi should be punished or not,” she said.
The Congress on its part, dismissed the allegation claiming that the BJP candidate was staring at a defeat and so ‘looking for excuses’.
“It now is more than clear that she has lost. Now, she is looking for excuses. If Rahul Gandhi ji is capturing booths, and capturing votes, then what is the election commission doing that has been working in a biased manner in favour of Modi and Amit Shah,” a Congress spokesperson said.
The Union Textiles Minister had earlier tweeted a video of a woman at Gujartola booth in Gauriganj alleging that she was forced to press the button with the hand symbol (of the Congress).
She also took a dig at Congress general secretary and Rahul Gandhi’s sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra....