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Samajwadi Party’s Ballia candidate booked for threatening poll official

The video featuring Pandey is from Saturday, when he arrived in Ballia for his Jan Vishwas Yatra.

Sanatan PandeyLUCKNOW: Samajwadi Party candidate Sanatan Pandey from Ballia was booked on Sunday for allegedly threatening the District Election Officer (DEO). Pandey’s remarks implied that if he lost due to manipulation and the election officer didn’t promptly issue him a victory certificate, there could be fatal repercussions, potentially targeting the DEO.

The video of his statement, already viral on social media, drew the attention of election officials and law enforcement. The video featuring Pandey is from Saturday, when he arrived in Ballia for his Jan Vishwas Yatra.

In the clip, Pandy can be seen saying, “If people ensure my defeat, I will accept their decision. However, if manipulation occurs to secure my defeat under pressure from the ruling BJP, only two outcomes are possible: either my dead body or the collector’s will come out of the counting centre.”

Taking cognizance of his statement, the district election authorities booked him on charges of threatening a government official and obstructing him from discharging his duties while influencing the election. Ballia police sources confirmed the legal proceeding against Pandey based on a complaint from district election officials.

He faces charges under Sections 171F (punishment for undue influence or personation at an election), 186 (voluntarily obstructing a public servant in the discharge of their duties), 189 (threatening a public servant), and 505(2) (making statements promoting enmity or hatred between different classes) of the Indian Penal Code, along with Sections 125 and 136 of the Representation of the People Act.

Pandey alleges in the video that in the 2019 Lok Sabha election, he was declared the loser despite winning, accusing election officials of manipulating the results under BJP pressure.

He added, “In 2019, I accepted the Election Commission of India’s decision and left the counting venue. However, I was attacked by BJP supporters upon exiting. This time, my response will be different.”

In the 2019 election, BJP candidate Virendra Singh ‘Mast’ defeated Pandey, who contested as a candidate of the SP-Bahujan Samaj Party alliance.

This time, the BJP has fielded Neeraj Shekhar, the son of former Prime Minister Chandrashekhar, from Ballia.

Pandey targeted Neeraj, noting that his father opposed the BJP’s ideology and contributed to the downfall of the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government.

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