The Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) estranged ally Shiv Sena has slammed the ruling party for approaching the Election Commission (EC) seeking screening of burqa-clad women voters in UP election.
The Shiv Sena, which is an ally of the BJP in the NDA government at the Centre, said that the move shows BJP frustration as it knows that it will suffer a crushing defeat in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly election.
"Almost the whole Modi Cabinet is camping in Uttar Pradesh for election. However, after phase five voting they know the party is going to suffer a major setback," Shiv Sena said in its mouthpiece Saamana.
"Such a move shows that BJP is now frustrated PM Modi always stresses on minimum government, maximum government, however, his ministers are camping in UP for election campaigning. People will soon give it a befitting reply," Shiv Sena said.
On March 2 (Thursday), the BJP approached the Election Commission to deploy women force at polling booths in the last two phases of the UP Assembly polls to check identity of burqa-clad female voters and prevent bogus voting, making some Muslim bodies very angry.
In a letter to the Chief Election Commissioner, the party said, "The BJP demands that to establish the identity of burqa-clad female voters in the sixth and seventh phase of the UP polls, women police and central paramilitary forces be posted at sensitive and hyper-sensitive polling booths".
BJP leaders J P S Rathore and Kuldeep Pati Tripathi said in the letter that a large number of burqa-clad women exercise their franchise and there was a possibility of false voting.
"Adequate deployment of female police would ensure proper checking of women voters, and at the same time, minimising incidents of bogus voting," they said.
A large number of constituencies going to polls in the last two rounds on March 4 and 8 fall in Muslim-dominated districts of eastern Uttar Pradesh.