New Delhi -°C
Today in New Delhi, India

Sep 15, 2019-Sunday
-°C

Humidity
-

Wind
-

Select city

Metro cities - Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata

Other cities - Noida, Gurgaon, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Bhopal , Chandigarh , Dehradun, Indore, Jaipur, Lucknow, Patna, Ranchi

Sunday, Sep 15, 2019

Madhya Pradesh election 2018: Congress complains to Election Commission alleging poll ‘conspiracy’ in MP

The Madhya Pradesh electoral office and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have denied the charges.

madhya-pradesh-elections Updated: Dec 02, 2018 09:21 IST
Ranjan and Shruti Tomar
Ranjan and Shruti Tomar
The Madhya Pradesh electoral office and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) denied the charges.
The Madhya Pradesh electoral office and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) denied the charges. (AFP)
         

The Congress party complained to the Election Commission (EC) on Saturday about an alleged “conspiracy” to distort election results in Madhya Pradesh, expressing concern over a perceived lack of sufficient security outside ‘strong rooms’ storing electronic voting machines (EVM). Senior Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia urged the EC to ensure the security of EVMs and take strict action against anyone found tampering with the machines .

“Non-functioning of LED screen outside the strong room at Bhopal, reserve EVMs of home minister’s constituency in Sagar district reaching 48 hours late and video of boxes being taken into strong room at Satna-Khargone indicated some big conspiracy,” Scindia tweeted. He was referring to a set of videos doing the rounds in Madhya Pradesh. HT couldn’t independently verify the authenticity of the videos.

The Madhya Pradesh electoral office and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) denied the charges.

Read: Rajasthan assembly elections 2018: Losses in Alwar, Ajmer by-elections were eye-opener for us, says Om Prakash Mathur

“Chief electoral office again reaffirms that all EVMs are tamperproof. All EVMs are safely secured and sealed in strong rooms. More importantly they are under joint surveillance of police force and political parties,” the state election commission tweeted.

State BJP vice-president Vijesh Lunawat said, “The Congress is in the habit of crying over EVMs whenever it faces defeat. The Congress leaders should have faith in democracy and constitutional bodies and before lodging any complaint, they must understand the system first.”

In two separate memoranda submitted to the poll panel in Delhi, a Congress delegation led by Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Manish Tewari demanded that necessary steps be taken for preventing any manipulation .

Congress, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Aam Admi Party (AAP) workers protested after a video clip went viral on Friday purportedly showing a man taking a box inside a strong room in Satna district. But the district administration denied that the video showed the gate of the strong room. In Khargone district, too, a video clip purportedly showing the entry of unauthorised people into the strong room went viral, triggering protests. In Sagar district, Congress claimed some EVMs reached the collection centre about 48 hours after polling because they were first taken to a hotel owned by a BJP minister.

Also Read: Congress alleges power scam by BJP govt in Rajasthan

Senior leader Ahmed Patel said the EC should allow representatives of all political parties while transporting EVMs to counting centres from strong rooms and review conduct of officials in certain districts.

Chief electoral officer VL Kantharao said, “There is no confusion about security of strong rooms. All the 51 strong rooms were sealed on November 28 and will be opened only on December 11. The strong rooms are under strict vigilance of para-military forces. Unused VVPAT, EVMs and batteries have been stored separately in warehouses. The videos which went viral were related to the warehouses only.”

VVPAT is short for voter verifiable paper audit trail, which, according to the EC, brings transparency to the voting process and acts as a tool to counter allegations of rigging .

First Published: Dec 01, 2018 23:01 IST