Australian News Broadcaster Releases Video of BJP Worker Trying to Bribe Cops Ahead of Polling

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BJP worker was caught on camera allegedly plotting to bribe official’s in UP’s Sambhal Constituency

A video obtained by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) purportedly shows a BJP worker, Bhuvnesh Kumar Varshney, planning to bribe police and polling officials in Uttar Pradesh’s Sambhal constituency ahead of the May 7 election. ABC has stated that they have independently verified the authenticity of the video.

The footage, shared by ABC News’ South Asia Bureau Chief and Correspondent Meghna Bali on her X (formerly known as Twitter) handle, features Varshney outlining a strategy to manipulate the election process, reported Vartha Bharati.

The caption read, “The ABC has obtained and verified a video showing a BJP worker named Bhuvnesh Kumar Varshney plotting to bribe police and polling officials in UP’s Sambhal constituency before the May 7 poll. Watch the full video below with captions.”

In the video, Varshney is heard instructing others on how to create disturbances at polling stations without resorting to violence. “The [polling] agent will challenge the voter by accusing him of voting on forged documents,” he is seen saying. “Do not use violence, no use of firearms and any other weapon, don’t physically assault anyone. You just need to create a fake scene so there will be chaos, so women will stop coming to polling station.”

Varshney further suggests that the disruption would lead to a lower voter turnout. He also advises the bribing of police officers at polling booths, specifying amounts: 500 rupees for officials and 100 rupees for juniors. “Keep money in their pocket saying this is for tea only, not for anything else,” he purportedly instructs.

On May 10, various media outlets, including Scroll, reported allegations of police misconduct during the polling in Sambhal. The Uttar Pradesh police were accused of storming booths, confiscating identity cards, and assaulting voters, particularly in Muslim-majority villages that previously supported the Opposition Samajwadi Party. The Samajwadi Party had won the Sambhal parliamentary seat by a margin of 1.7 lakh votes in the 2019 elections.

Varshney, the ABC reported, was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh Police days before the May 7 election. According to the report, he was detained “under a section of law aimed at preventing the disturbance of peace.”

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