The BJP unit of Uttar Pradesh has written to the Election Commission, accusing poll officials of failing to confirm the identification of burqa-clad women before allowing them to cast their vote in the second phase of voting in Uttar Pradesh on Monday, February 14.
The BJP has accused polling booths of facilitating fake voting by burqa-clad women and has requested that the identities of burqa-clad women be thoroughly vetted by female police constables. The party also requested that women constables be stationed at all polling stations to monitor the voting process. The letter signed by UP BJP’s general secretary JPS Rathore urged the EC to stop the elections till arrangements are made for verifying the identity of women in veils.
Reportedly, two burqa-clad women were arrested from Azam Khan’s constituency Rampur for casting fake votes. A total of six persons were arrested in Rampur for casting fake votes, including four women. Two of the women, caught in Raza Degree College, are mother and daughter, and both were wearing burqas. They had already cast fake votes, and were trying to cast more votes in other women’s names.
रामपुर में फ़र्ज़ी वोटिंग के शक में 4 हिरासत में लिए गए। दो महिलायें ओर 2 युवक हिरासत में लिए गए।
थाना गंज इलाके के मतदान केंद्र रज़ा डिग्री कालेज का मामला।#UPElection2022 #UttarPradeshAssemblyElections2022 pic.twitter.com/oX3NWy257w
— Alok Kumar (@dmalok) February 14, 2022
It may be noted that the areas that went to the polls in this phase have a sizeable Muslim population influenced by religious leaders of Barelvi and Deoband sects. Jailed SP leader Mohammad Azam Khan is contesting the polls from his stronghold Rampur.
Notably, Azam Khan, who has been lodged in jail since February 2020 in connection with a fake birth certificate case, faces Haider Ali Khan, the Nawabs of Rampur’s heir, who is contesting on a ticket from Apna Dal (Sonelal), a BJP ally. Haider Ali Khan is the grandson of former MP Noor Bano.
Rampur is a stronghold of the Samajwadi Party, especially Azam Khan, who has been elected 9 times from the said constituency. In 2017, when BJP swept Uttar Pradesh, Khan had managed to retain his Rampur seat by defeating Shiv Bahadur Saxena of BJP by 47,000 votes.
Assembly elections in UP
The first phase of Assembly elections took place on February 10. The second phase of polls happened on February 14. The remaining five phases will be over by March 10. The results of Assembly polls in UP and the other four states will be announced on March 10.