Gujarat: BJP leader's son live-streams from poll booth, held for bogus voting

Congress accuses Vijay Bhabhor of "insulting democracy" by going live on Instagram from the booth

Representative image of voting (Photo: National Herald archives)
Representative image of voting (Photo: National Herald archives)


A man has been detained for alleged bogus voting after he live-streamed from inside a poll booth in the Dahod Lok Sabha constituency, officials said on Wednesday, 9 May.

The Congress has claimed that the man, Vijay Bhabhor, is the son of a local BJP leader and accused him of "insulting democracy" by going live on Instagram from the booth.

The police in the state’s Mahisagar district detained Bhabhor and another man after the opposition complained to the Election Commission with a copy of the video. Though Bhabhor deleted the video after it drew criticism, the clip had gone viral on social media by then.

The incident of a man relaying a video live on Instagram after going to a poll booth to cast his vote is being probed, Dahod Returning Officer Nirgude Babanrao said.

“We have received the video with a complaint and an investigation is underway,” he said.

Of the 26 Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat, polling was held in 25 constituencies on Tuesday in the third phase of the general elections. The BJP candidate in Surat has won unopposed.

The incident happened at a polling booth at Parthampur in Mahisagar district under Dahod parliamentary constituency, Mahisagar superintendent of police Jaydeepsinh Jadeja said.

“We have detained two persons and action is being taken based on the FIR registered by the presiding officer under the Representative of the People Act for bogus voting,” Jadeja said.

He said Bhabhor went to the poll booth to cast his vote at 5.49 pm and left by 5.54 pm.

In those five minutes, he went live on Instagram and also allegedly cast votes on behalf of two other electors, resorting to bogus voting, he said.

Prabha Taviad is the Congress candidate in the constituency. She is pitted against incumbent MP Jasvantsinh Bhabhor.

Congress claimed that the person who relayed the “booth capturing” video on Instagram is the son of a local BJP leader.

Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi said they have demanded repolling at booth number 220 in Parthampur over the incident.

“Son of a BJP leader at Mahisagar played with the EVM machine and abused the Election Commission by creating a live video of booth capturing and thereby insulting democracy,” Doshi said.

A Congress leader shared the purported video on his X handle. “BJP leader's son Vijay Bhabhor captures the booth in Parthampur Village, Santrampur. He goes live on social media while doing the same and is seen threatening poll officials,” he claimed.

The video shows Bhabhor purportedly focusing the camera on EVM (Electronic Voting Machine) and VVPAT (Voter verifiable paper audit Trail) machine and seeking five to ten minutes from a poll official even when he is asked to leave. Bhabhor purportedly also says that “only the BJP works here”. His accomplice was also seen in the video.

“The machine belongs to my father. Only one thing works – that is BJP,” says Bhabhor before pressing a button on the EVM, as per the video. “Only Vijay Bhabhor works here,” he purportedly says.

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