MLA warns Muslims: Vote for me or else… ( Telegraph India )

Representational image. File Photo.

A BJP lawmaker has drawn flak for allegedly warning Muslim voters that he would not work for them if they don’t vote for him in the upcoming Karnataka Assembly elections, with the Congress determined to lodge a complaint with the Election Commission.

In a video clip that went viral on social media, a voice resembling Hassan MLA Preetham Gowda’s cautions voters in a Muslim-dominated locality that he would do nothing apart from taking care of drinking water, roads and drainage if the community does not vote for him again. “If you come (to my) home I will send you back after giving you some coffee. I won’t do anything more (if you don’t vote for me),” the speaker in the video, whose face is not clearly visible, says.

Asked about the video, Gowda in a WhatsApp message alleged misrepresentation. “It is total misinterpretation by the Opposition and some media friends,” Gowda wrote and shared a video clip in which people could be seen shouting slogans in his favour and promising their support to him. In the video that is viral, the speaker reminds Muslim voters that they had not voted for him or his party in the last three elections.

“You have ditched me thrice. You did not vote for me in the Assembly elections, didn’t vote (for the BJP) in the municipal elections and Lok Sabha polls. Now the next Assembly election is due in six months. If you ditch me, I will ditch you as well,” he is purportedly heard saying.

The speaker urges the voters to “take a decision today” on voting for him. The 59-second clip starts with a reassurance that he treats Muslims as brothers.

“I treat my Muslim brothers with a lot of love.… But if you don’t help me, I will come to a decision not to even take a look at this side…. It is your responsibility to ensure such a decision is not taken,” the speaker says.

State Congress spokesperson M. Lakshman said his party would soon lodge a complaint with the Election Commission, seeking action against Gowda. “It is his (Gowda’s) duty to serve the interests of everyone in his constituency, and not just his voters or supporters. We are lodging a complaint with the Election Commission seeking action against him since he has violated laws in inciting communal hatred,” Lakshman told The Telegraph.

This story was originally published in . Read the full story here

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