EVMs being tampered with, Congress tells Election Commission
Party delegation submits videos of EVMs in a hotel and suspicious activities around strongrooms
Releasing multiple videos of polling officials with electronic voting machines (EVMs) in a private hotel, a school bus without number plates carrying the machines and various persons approaching the strongrooms where the machines are kept, the Congress on Saturday accused the BJP of “an organised attempt to subvert the mandate” in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
A Congress delegation met the Election Commission and flagged the party’s concerns over the security of EVMs inside strongrooms and their handling during the counting process in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
The team also raised the issue of alleged deletion of voters’ names from electoral rolls in Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh.
Speaking to presspersons after meeting the Election Commission, Congress leader in charge of Chhattisgarh P.L. Punia said suspicious activities were being reported in the Dhamtari Assembly constituency in the State.
“People with laptops and mobile phones, on the pretext of repairing the CCTVs, were seen around the strongrooms where the EVMs were kept after the voting,” Mr. Punia said.
Congress Rajya Sabha member Vivek Tankha alleged there was no power supply in a strongroom in Bhopal city for over an hour during which CCTV cameras had stopped functioning.
The Congress MP said that 48 hours after the voting ended, a school bus without a number plate carrying several EVMs had reached the Sagar District Collector’s office on Friday.
“The objective of this was ostensibly to deposit these machines with the office of the Collector. These spare EVMs were to be deposited two hours after the polls and not after two days. This happened in the Khuria seat from where the State Home Minister is contesting the polls,” he said.
The Congress delegation included Abhishek Singhvi, Manish Tewari and Pranab Jha. Talking about the video of poll officials carrying EVMs to a hotel room, Mr. Tewari said, “What was an EVM doing in a hotel room? And while the EC says that they have suspended the officials, the State Election Commission says EVMs have not been tampered.”
“Sensing a defeat in Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh, some are indulging in desperate measures by attempting to tamper with EVMs in strongrooms. Urge the EC to investigate & take concrete action,” Congress treasurer Ahmed Patel tweeted.
“I am submitting 4 suggestions to Election Commission ahead of Chhattisgarh counting 1)Kindly allow representatives of all political parties while transporting EVMs to counting centres from strongrooms 2)Crosscheck if postal ballots were received from eligible voters 3) Review conduct of top officials in 3 districts-Rajnandgaon, Kondagaon & Bilaspur 4)Initiate second round of counting only after completion of first round,” Mr. Patel said.