BJP candidate 'assaults' voter at polling station in India

Video: The attack is one of two purported assaults by the right-wing Indian party over the weekend

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The Independent Online

A shocking video from India allegedly shows a candidate from the government’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) assaulting a voter at a polling station.

The video appears to show Shopian Javed Ahmad Qadri slapping a voter twice on the face before someone steps in between the two men. It is not clear what happened before the filmed clip.

The incident took place at the Moshwara polling station in Shopian in south Kashmir, according to The Hindu.

The Election Commission in India that an FIR, essentially a complaint, had been filed to the police regarding the incident.

News reports also claimed that Hinna Bhat, a BJP candidate for Srinigar's Amira Kadal constituency, slapped a polling officer during assembly elections.

NDTV reported that the incident took place at a polling booth on the outskirts of the Kashmir city. In an interview with NDTV,

Bhat denied the accusation, saying, "i stopped polling because the polling officer, in the guise of showing a voter how to operate an EVM (Electronic Voting Machine), was casting a vote on her behalf."

Both incidents occurred during polling for the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly elections.

The alleged attack by Bhat was criticised by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah. His party, the National Conference, won eight seats in the 2008 elections and the BJP is trying to make a dent in his ruling coalition.

The Congress party said the assault reports showed the BJP's "frustration" at not attracting sufficient support.

"Assaulting a voter by BJP candidate speaks volumes about their inefficiency and frustration after their failure to gain support from the people," a Congress spokesman told local media.

In response to the assault, the BJP's Qadri told NDTV that opposing parties were committing malpractice and said, "The workers of the PDP and National Conference have been doing this for the last 60 years."