The Bharatiya Janata Party has written to the Election Commission of India demanding action against the Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar for promoting bogus voting with his “vote twice” remark.

The BJP demanded immediate action against the politician. “I am going to lodge a complaint with the State Director-General of Police asking for a criminal investigation into the case. The NCP might have won elections in the past by indulging in such malpractices,” BJP leader Kirit Somaiya alleged.

As the controversy snowballed, Mr. Pawar addressed a hurried press conference in the evening clarifying that he had spoken in jest. He said observed that he made the remark at a function to commemorate the death anniversary of a mathadi leader, and not at a public or election meeting.

Mr. Pawar said, “My expression on erasing voter ink was purely humour and not at all suggestive of any act in breach of electoral laws or rules. Upon learning that my statement was being misinterpreted and blown out of proportion by our political opponents, I have immediately clarified that I did not,” he said. Mr. Pawar has also written to the ECI to clarify his stand.