Pilot confident, Cong alleges bid to capture booths
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.