Alleging irregularities in postal ballots in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, Congress today petitioned the Election Commission demanding a thorough probe and asked it to issue instructions to polling staff to count such ballot first as they can be used to alter results.
A delegation of Congress leaders from the two states, where polling has already taken place, met top Election Commission officials and demanded an inquiry into postal ballots in the two states to identify any unauthorised persons. They also sought action against poll officials for allegedly siding with the BJP governments there.
Keeping in view the "serious" nature of irregularities which can affect election results substantially, the Congress memorandum to EC said, "it is requested that the Commission after a thorough inquiry should issue immediate remedial measures including a repoll of postal ballot." Congress has pointed out that 3,12,435 postal ballots have been issued in Madhya Pradesh and a large number in Chhattisgarh also, which can alter the election results substantially. It has also pointed out that the postal ballots in Chhattisgarh have been issued to farmers, students and tea -vendors also.
"We have pointed out to the EC a number of irregularities in the postal ballots issued in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh and demanded a probe as also action against erring poll officials. We have demanded that postal ballot be counted first so that they cannot be used to alter the results of constituencies when the margin is low," said Congress general secretary and incharge of Madhya Pradesh Mohan Prakash.
"There are a number of irregularities in postal ballots in Chhattisgarh and we have demanded that the EC brings the guilty to book," Congress treasurer Motilal Vora said.
Congress has also pointed out malfunctioning in electronic voting machines in Bhopal, where in one case while pressing the Congress button, the light for the BJP symbol lotus lights up.