Gujarat minister Kunvarji Bavaliya ties water to votes

Bavaliya is heard saying in the video that only 55 per cent of the villagers had voted for him last time

By PTI in Ahmedabad
  • Published 14.04.19, 7:49 AM
  • Updated 14.04.19, 7:49 AM
  • a min read
  •  
Gujarat water supplies minister Kunvarji Bavaliya was caught on camera on Saturday asking a group of women who complained about drinking water problems in their village why they had not voted for him. Shutterstock

Gujarat water supplies minister Kunvarji Bavaliya was caught on camera on Saturday asking a group of women who complained about drinking water problems in their village why they had not voted for him.

After the video, shot on mobile camera, was widely circulated, the BJP minister said the question came from “uneducated women” and had been prompted by local politics.

Bavaliya quit the Congress last year to join the BJP and was made a cabinet minister. He won the ensuing Assembly by-election in Jasdan, which is part of the Rajkot Lok Sabha constituency.

Campaigning at Kanesara village, he faced a group of angry villagers, most of them women, who complained that only half the village got drinking water.

Bavaliya is heard saying in the video that only 55 per cent of the villagers had voted for him last time. “I have the entire water resources ministry, I am in the government, and if required, I can sanction crores of rupees to arrange water supply to the village,” he said.

“When I contested the election this time, I got only 55 per cent votes. Why didn’t you all come together to vote for me?” he asked.

Questioned by reporters later, Bavaliya said the protesters were “uneducated women”.

Congress leader Hardik Patel blasted Bavaliya.

“If somebody did not vote for the BJP and voted for another party, shouldn’t they be given basic amenities?” Patel asked.