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Shiv Sena MLA’s bizarre diktat to kids

MUMBAI: An MLA of the Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena has courted controversy by asking children not to eat for two days if their parents don’t vote for him.

Kalamnuri MLA Santosh Bangar’s remarks came less than a week after the Election Commission issued directives against the use of children in poll-related activities.

“If your parents don’t vote for me in the next election, don’t eat for two days,” Bangar is seen telling school children in a viral video, shot when he visited a zilla parishad school in Hingoli district.

Bangar is seen telling the puzzled students, all less than 10 years old, that if their parents question their refusal to eat, they should reply, “Vote for Santosh Bangar, only then will we eat.”

The MLA then asked the children to repeat and recite what they would say in front of their parents about whom to vote for in the next elections.

Bangar’s remarks have prompted leaders from the Congress and the Sharad Pawar-led NCP to seek action against him.

NCP-SP spokesperson Clyde Crasto said, “What Bangar told the school children goes against the directive of the Election Commission, therefore, strict action must be taken against him. He is a repeat offender and goes scot-free as he is an ally of the BJP. The Commission must act against him without prejudice.”

Congress leader Vijay Wadettiwar sought action by the Election Commission against Bangar and also wondered if the state education minister was sleeping when an MLA of his party was making such remarks to school children.

Bangar is known for his shocking remarks and actions, which have been the subject of much controversy in the past.

Last month, he said he would hang himself if Narendra Modi did not return as Prime Minister after the 2024 Lok Sabha election.

In August last year, he was booked by the Kalamnuri police for allegedly brandishing a sword during a festive rally.

In 2022, a video of him slapping a catering manager of a midday meal programme for labourers had gone viral.

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