Kirti Azad has admitted that booth capturing is a part of the Congress culture, alleged BJP.
Patna: The BJP on Wednesday took a dig at cricketer-turned-politician Kirti Azad for his faux pas when he told a gathering of the Congress that workers of the party used to loot booths for his late father.
"In those days booths were looted, Congress workers used to loot polling booths for Nagendra ji(former Congress leader). Booths were looted for my father as well and in 1999, for me also, EVMs had not been introduced then," Kirti Azad had said while addressing a rally in Darbhanga, Bihar on Tuesday.
Azad, whose father Bhagwat Jha Azad was a member of the Indira Gandhi cabinet and had served as the Chief Minister of Bihar in the 1980s, had made the utterance at Darbhanga, his parliamentary constituency, on Tuesday a day after he was inducted into the Congress by Rahul Gandhi at New Delhi.
Nagendra Jha, the father of Bihar Congress president Madan Mohan Jha, was a minister then.
A two-term MP from Darbhanga, Azad who had been associated with the BJP for over a decade was suspended from the party in 2015 after he made accusations against Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in connection with alleged irregularities in the Delhi Cricket Association during the period it was headed by the latter.
Azad has admitted that booth capturing is a part of the Congress culture. Never were such electoral practices resorted to while he was with the BJP. He used to win elections on our party's ticket chanting Bharat Mata Ki Jai. Now he would be trying his luck by saying Sonia Mata Ki Jai, Bihar BJP president Nityanand Rai told reporters.
The former test cricketer, however, issued a clarification saying he never meant to say that booths were captured for his father. When I uttered booth 'lootte the' I was referring to the dedication with which party workers used to manage booths for my father. I was trying to express how I felt at home in the Congress despite having joined the party only a couple of days ago.
Congress MLC Prem Chandra Mishra, who was approached with queries on the episode outside the legislative council premises here, quipped it is obviously a slip of the tongue.
Nobody can say that the Congress captured booths. Had we resorted to such means we would have never lost power.
Latching on to Kirti’s remarks, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra asked if that was the “very reason“ why Rahul Gandhi wants to do away with electronic voting machines.