Pilot con­fi­dent, Cong al­leges bid to cap­ture booths

Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur) - - Htrajasthan - HT Cor­re­spon­dent [email protected]­dus­tan­times.com

Ra­jasthan Congress pres­i­dent Sachin Pilot on Fri­day ex­pressed con­fi­dence that the party would form the next gov­ern­ment in the state with a huge man­date.

Ad­dress­ing a press con­fer­ence af­ter polling got over on Fri­day, Pilot said peo­ple in the state have made their de­ci­sion, which was sealed in the EVM ma­chines. “Peo­ple have done their job. Now the re­spon­si­bil­ity is of those who win, while the other have to in­tro­spect,” he said.

Em­pha­sis­ing that the assem­bly elec­tion re­sults in five states will have a bear­ing on 2019 Lok Sabha elec­tions, Pilot said: “The BJP was not fight­ing to win but for re­spectable num­bers. But I don’t think peo­ple will forgive them; Congress will get the man­date.” On mal­func­tion­ing of EVMs, he said the Elec­tion com­mis­sion has to take it se­ri­ously.

Ear­lier, Congress lead­ers al­leged at­tempts of booth cap­tur­ing and man­han­dling of elec­tion of­fi­cers by BJP work­ers. All In­dia Congress Com­mit­tee gen­eral sec­re­tary Av­inash Pande al­leged that de­spite re­peated re­quests to elec­tion of­fi­cers, there were com­plaints of EVMs mal­func­tion­ing.

“We re­quested the Elec­tion Com­mis­sion and re­turn­ing of­fi­cers to give ex­tra time for vot­ers as queues were mov­ing slowly due to mal­func­tion­ing of EVMs. At many places, in­clud­ing Kota, Bikaner, Barmer and Pokhran, in­ci­dents of at­tempt to cap­ture booth were made by our op­po­nents, which we con­demn.”

He added that in Ko­layat, a for­mer MLA was mov­ing around with his peo­ple in 30-40 ve­hi­cles from booth num­ber 1 to 40 and 172.

“Our can­di­date’s car was dam­aged and they tried to in­tim­i­date vot­ers.”

He al­leged that at 160 places, BJP work­ers tried to dis­turb the polling process.

The party sub­mit­ted a writ­ten com­plaint to the Elec­tion Com­mis­sion al­leg­ing booth cap­tur­ing by for­mer BJP MLA. The com­plaint said that the for­mer MLA al­legedly tried to cap­ture booths, cre­ate an at­mos­phere of fear us­ing weapons and dam­aged Congress can­di­date’s ve­hi­cle.

The Congress also com­plained against a BJP MP al­leg­ing that he at­tempted booth cap­tur­ing and forced peo­ple to caste vote in BJP’s favour. Pande said that around 460 com­plaints were re­ceived, which were sent to the Elec­tion Com­mis­sion.

On the probable out­come of elec­tion, he said: “There is a Congress wave in Ra­jasthan and we will win with a his­toric man­date. The BJP has failed on all fronts in the state as well as the Cen­tre and peo­ple want change.”

BJP spokesper­son Mukesh Pa­reek said the Elec­tion Com­mis­sion is a con­sti­tu­tional body that works in­de­pen­dently.

“Lev­el­ling al­le­ga­tions against EC shows frus­tra­tion of the Congress,” he said. On al­le­ga­tions of booth cap­tur­ing and other in­ci­dents, he said whe never the Congress sees de­feat, they re­sort to such charges. “Since they started los­ing, they have been ques­tion­ing EVMs. Now it shows they are fore­see­ing de­feat. BJP work­ers moved door-to-door and urged peo­ple to vote, re­sult­ing in a good turnout. Bar­ring few mi­nor in­ci­dents, the elec­tion was peace­ful,” said Pa­reek.



Anu­radha Sharma.

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