NEW DELHI: Kiran Bedi and Arvind Kejriwal, the main rivals in the battle for Delhi, traded serious allegations as voting took place across the capital on Saturday.
Kiran Bedi, the BJP’s presumptive chief minister, alleged that AAP workers were “forcing people” to vote for it and even abusing women at a voting booth. She showed a video of a woman purportedly confirming these allegations.
“AAP is buying voters for Rs 300. Young girls are saying they were offered money and free food. The poor are being used. Women are being threatened. If you have the courage to show the video, please do so and let people know the truth,” a furious Ms Bedi told NDTV. Her party alleged that AAP volunteers tried to manhandle BJP candidate Nupur Sharma – who is contesting against AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal in the New Delhi constituency – and her friends.
Reacting to the charge, AAP spokesperson Atishi Marlena said, “The BJP’s claims are becoming increasingly more far-fetched.”
Arvind Kejriwal, who is also running for chief minister, accused the BJP of distributing alcohol and money to voters.
“Please don’t vote for people who distribute alcohol and cash. Please don’t vote for people who forget their promises after the elections are over,” Mr Kejriwal said.
The BJP hit back by accusing AAP workers of “placing liquor bottles in the car of one of their candidates.”
The back-and-forth drew a comment from Omar Abdullah, the former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir. “You know the writing is on the wall when political parties start accusing their opponents of dirty tricks on polling day #Delhi2015,” he tweeted.
The incidents were not corroborated by the Election Commission. “There is nothing like this. The voting is going on peacefully. Our teams are present everywhere,” said Chief Election Commissioner HS Brahma.
The BJP and AAP are locked in a close fight in the Delhi polls, which has morphed into a personality-based contest between their chief ministerial candidates.