Senior Uttarakhand BJP leader Ganesh Joshi has landed in a fresh controversy for distributing money during a Chhath festival celebration in Dehradun. With the Model Code of Conduct enforced in the state for the local body elections, Joshi’s move has provided the main opposition party, Congress, a chance to hit out at the BJP and accuse them of using money for influencing polls.

In 2016, Mussoorie legislator Ganesh Joshi was accused of fracturing the leg of police horse Shaktimaan, which died later. This time, a video Joshi has become viral on social media, and the clip shows the political leader giving money to women applying ‘Tilak’ on his forehead. The Congress has made a complaint to the Election Commission. Uttarakhand Congress president Pritam Singh said, “BJP is using money and distributing liquor to influence the voters.”

With the campaigning for the civic body election concluding on Friday, the issue has caused some discomfort to the BJP. The state EC has taken note and issued notice to the leader. BJP has come in support of Joshi by claiming that Congress was using dirty tricks to mix festival with politics.

Uttarakhand BJP spokesperson Dr Devendra Bhasin said, “We condemn the act of politicizing the issue. Legislator Ganesh Joshi followed Hindu traditions and was providing ‘sagun’ to women who applied ‘tilak’ on him during Chhat.”