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Santosh Bangar

Don’t eat if your parents don’t vote for me: Shiv Sena MLA

February 12, 2024

A Shiv Sena MLA associated with Eknath Shinde, named Santosh Bangar, has found himself in the midst of controversy for instructing children not to eat for two days unless their parents vote for him. This incident occurred less than a week after the Election Commission issued directives explicitly prohibiting the involvement of children in election-related activities.

In a video that quickly went viral, Santosh Bangar is seen addressing a group of school children, all below the age of 10, during his visit to a zilla parishad school in Hingoli district. He advises the puzzled youngsters not to consume food for two days if their parents do not support him in the upcoming elections. Furthermore, Bangar instructs them to respond to any queries from their parents by stating, “Vote for Santosh Bangar, only then will we eat.”

These remarks have raised concerns about violating Election Commission guidelines, prompting leaders from both the Congress and the Sharad Pawar-led NCP to call for decisive action against Bangar. Clyde Crasto, the NCP-SP spokesperson, emphasized that Bangar, being a repeat offender, should not be exempt from consequences and urged the Commission to act impartially.

Congress leader Vijay Wadettiwar echoed these sentiments, demanding intervention from the Election Commission. He also questioned the awareness of the state education minister, questioning how an MLA from their party could make such remarks directed at school children without repercussions.

Santosh Bangar has a track record of making controversial statements and engaging in provocative actions. In the past, he declared that he would take extreme measures if Narendra Modi did not return as Prime Minister after the 2024 Lok Sabha election. Other incidents include brandishing a sword during a festive rally last August, and a viral video from 2022 captured him slapping a catering manager involved in a midday meal program for laborers.

The controversy surrounding Bangar’s recent directive to school children has reignited concerns about ethical campaigning practices, and the call for action emphasizes the need for accountability, especially when it involves impressionable young minds in the electoral process.

Also read: Textbook containing ‘merits, advantages of dowry system’: Sena MP writes to Pradhan

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