AGP blames machine manipulation for defeat
Assam's beleaguered main opposition Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) on Friday blamed "manipulation of electronic voting machines (EVM) by the ruling Congress party" for its rout in the assembly elections even as the Congress got a decisive mandate for a third successive term.india Updated: May 14, 2011 08:55 IST
Assam's beleaguered main opposition Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) on Friday blamed "manipulation of electronic voting machines (EVM) by the ruling Congress party" for its rout in the assembly elections even as the Congress got a decisive mandate for a third successive term.
“We knew the Congress would do something and they did so by manipulating the EVMs. Otherwise such a result would not have come," former two-time chief minister and senior AGP leader Prafulla Kumar Mahanta told reporters.
Mahanta lost in Samaguri, one of the two seats he contested, to forest minister Rockybul Hussain, but won the Barhampur seat defeating the Congress candidate.
"EVMs were manipulated by the government machinery at the instance of the Congress," former AGP president Brindaban Goswami said.
Goswami, who won the Tezpur seat for the last four terms, lost this time to the Congress nominee.
Of the 50 seats for which results were declared so far, the Congress had won 34, the AGP five, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) two, the Asom United Democratic Front (AUDF) four and the Bodoland People's Party (BPF) five.
According to trends available for the remaining 76 seats in the 126-member state assembly, the Congress is leading on 44, the AGP in five, the BJP in four, the AUDF in 14 and the BPF in eight.
Among the prominent losers are AGP president Chandra Mohan Patowary and BJP state president Ranjit Dutta -- both losing to Congress candidates.
Patowary lost the Dharmapur seat to first-time Congress candidate Jayanta Malla Baruah by more than 5,000 votes, while Ranjit Dutta lost to another first-timer Pallab Lochan Das by more than 8,000 votes.
Meanwhile, celebrations have begun in the Congress party camp with trends indicating a massive win.
“The trends are on expected lines and as I said earlier, we are forming the next government comfortably. People of Assam voted us based on our performance in the past 10 years," Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi told IANS.
“We were able to bring in peace to the state and all round economic development and so people voted us back to power.”
The AGP and the BJP have already accepted defeat.
"We must respect the mandate of the people," a senior AGP leader said.
BJP MP Bijoya Chakraborty said: "We don't yet know the final tally, the Congress must have done well based on votes of Bangladeshi Muslims."