Vote in Satara and Mumbai too, Pawar tells headloaders

Thane (Maharashtra), March 23: Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar Sunday made a strange suggestion to headloaders — to indulge in double voting in the ensuing Lok Sabha elections!

At a convention of headloaders — or “mathadi kamgaar” as they are locally known — in Navi Mumbai here Sunday afternoon, Pawar said this time the Lok Sabha elections in Satara and Mumbai will be held on different dates.

So, the headloaders should first go to their respective villages in Satara, from where a majority of them hail, and vote in the polls April 17.

They should then return to Mumbai and exercise their franchise in the elections scheduled in the western metropolis April 24, exhorted Pawar, who is also the union agriculture minister.

“But ensure you erase the indelible ink on your finger — otherwise, there could be trouble!” Pawar, normally known to be a balanced and sober speaker, said.

Leader of opposition in the state council Vinod Tawade of the Bharatiya Janata Party immediately reacted sharply, saying this could invite the Election Commission provisions pertaining to bogus voting and he would lodge a complaint with the poll panel.

“Last time (2009), the elections were held simultaneously in western Maharashtra and Mumbai-Thane April 23. Now, the polls are on different dates — so, rectify the mistake this time!” Pawar told the labourers, though it was not immediately clear whether he was speaking in jest.

IANS