BJP Candidate Madhavi Latha Faces FIR for Checking Muslim Women's Voter IDs in Hyderabad

BJP candidate Madhavi Latha sparked controversy by checking IDs of burqa-clad Muslim women at a Hyderabad polling booth, asking them to lift or remove their veil. A case was registered against Latha under various IPC sections and the Representation of the People Act.

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Bijay Laxmi
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BJP Candidate Madhavi Latha Faces FIR for Checking Muslim Women's Voter IDs in Hyderabad

BJP Candidate Madhavi Latha Faces FIR for Checking Muslim Women's Voter IDs in Hyderabad

Madhavi Latha, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate from Hyderabad, sparked a controversy on Monday by checking the identity cards of burqa-clad Muslim women at a polling booth, asking them to lift or remove their veil. The incident, which went viral on social media, has led to a case being registered against Latha under sections 171C, 186, 505(1)(c) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 132 of the Representation of the People Act.

Why this matters: This incident highlights the ongoing tensions and allegations of voter suppression in India's electoral process, with potential implications for the country's democratic integrity. The controversy also underscores the need for greater sensitivity and awareness among political candidates and officials when interacting with voters from diverse backgrounds.

Latha visited several polling booths, including Azampur, to check the IDs of women waiting to vote, citing discrepancies in the voter lists and missing names of several voters. She claimed that she was exercising her right as a candidate to check ID cards without facemasks, and that she did so with "humbleness" and respect. "I am a candidate. As per law, a candidate has the right to check the ID cards without the facemasks. I am not a man, I am a woman and with a lot of humbleness, I have only requested them - can I please see and verify with the ID cards? If somebody wants to make a big issue out of it, that means they are scared," Latha stated.

The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), headed by incumbent MP Asaduddin Owaisi who is seeking a fifth straight term from Hyderabad, registered a complaint against Latha with the Election Commission of India (ECI). Latha further accused that 90% of the polling booths in the constituency are compromised and alleged that police were not instructing female constables to check the face with the voter ID. "90% of the booths are compromised. Police do not want to instruct female constables to check the face with the voter ID. When I asked the police officer, he said it's not his responsibility..." she claimed.

Telangana Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy accused the BJP of trying to polarize Muslim votes, stating that such actions will only help AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi win from Hyderabad. "I have not seen (the video) but BJP is simply trying to polarise Muslim votes to win but all these issues are going to help Asaduddin Owaisi. It is not going to benefit BJP," Reddy said.

The incident occurred during the fourth phase of the Lok Sabha elections in 17 constituencies in Telangana, with voting beginning at 7:00 am on Monday. The Hyderabad Collector confirmed the registration of the case against Latha in a post on X. As the controversy surrounding Madhavi Latha's actions at the polling booth continues to unfold, it remains to be seen how it will impact the high-stakes electoral battle in Hyderabad between the BJP and AIMIM.

Key Takeaways

  • BJP candidate Madhavi Latha sparks controversy by checking IDs of burqa-clad Muslim women at a polling booth.
  • Latha claims she was exercising her right as a candidate to check IDs without facemasks.
  • A case is registered against Latha under IPC and Representation of the People Act.
  • Telangana CM accuses BJP of trying to polarize Muslim votes to benefit AIMIM.
  • The incident highlights tensions and allegations of voter suppression in India's electoral process.