Akhilesh Yadav's party's demand to Election Commission ahead of counting in UP
UP Elections: Akhilesh Yadav has made claims about tampering of voting machines.
Hours before the counting of votes in Uttar Pradesh, Akhilesh Yadav's party has written to the Election Commission day after the former chief minister made some explosive remarks on the manipulation of voting machines. “The Samajwadi Party demands that for all constituencies, webcasting of the counting process should be done and the link should be shared with the Election Commision, Chief Election Commisioner, polling officials and political parties .. so that the political parties can watch the counting process ‘live’, and the process can be held trasparently and independently,” a letter in Hindi by the party read.
Akhilesh Yadav, the BJP's key challenger in UP, on Tuesday accused the BJP of trying to "steal the votes" by manipulting EVMs (electronic voting machines). The BJP registered a strong objection to the allegations. “The Samajwadi Party is winning Ayodhya, that is why the BJP is scared. Election Commission officials are tampering with the EVMs," Akhilesh Yadav had said.
In its letter, the Samajwadi Party on Wednesday referred to the webcasting for voting in some parts of the state. Earlier in the day, the party had shared a video and said an official was seen "admitting lapse in the protocol" in the transport of EVMS. "There was a lapse in the protocol in the movement of electronic voting machines. But I can assure you that taking away voting machines is impossible. There is a three-level security," Varanasi commissioner Deepak Agarwal is heard saying in the video.
On Tuesday, the paty chief had demanded: “Varanasi district magistrate is transporting EVMs without giving any information to local candidates. The poll body should look into it."
Hitting back at the claims, UP deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya had said: “A person who symbolises dynastic rule, talking about a revolution to save democracy is laughable. Only BJP is helping save democracy."
Rebuffing Akhilesh Yadav's allegations, the state election commision - in a statement - said: "Some political parties have brought to our attention that a few EVMs were being transported in a vehicle in Varanasi district. On investigation, it was found that these EVMs were for training purpose. These EVMs were being taken to training locations at a college in the state on March 9, 2022 and were kept at a foodgrains warehouse."
Counting of votes for 403 constituencies in the state will be done on Thursday. Some exit polls have predicted a win for the BJP but exit polls often get it wrong.