Rajasthan election results 2018: Ahead of counting, Congress fears discrepancies, asks candidates to keep watch
Rajasthan election results 2018: Rajasthan Congress president Sachin Pilot had earlier said that party candidates and workers have been asked to be vigilant and ensure the CCTV cameras installed outside strong rooms are operational.Updated: Dec 10, 2018 14:20 IST
Hindustan Times, Jaipur
Following the direction of central and state leadership, Congress candidates in Rajasthan are maintaining a vigil outside the strong rooms where electronic voting machines (EVMs) have been kept after the polling on December 7. Counting of votes in the state along with Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Chhattisgarh and Telangana will be held on December 11.
Congress MLA from Sapotra assembly constituency in Karauli district, Ramesh Chand Meena, along with his supporters, camped outside the strong room on Saturday night alleging suspicion of EVM tampering. “The way things are done, it seems that the district election officer is working against us. We are suspicious that the EVM may be removed. We have complained against him to the Election Commission. We will continue to camp till the results are out,” he said.
Karauli district election officer Abhimanyu Kumar said the allegations levelled are to be examined by the government. “We have conducted a peaceful election in the district and no untoward incident has been reported. Adequate security has been deployed as per the guidelines of the Election Commission,” said Kumar.
State Congress president Sachin Pilot had earlier said, “We have asked the candidates and workers to be vigilant and ensure the CCTV cameras installed outside the strong room are operational.”
Being extra vigilant, Congress candidates at other constituencies too have deployed their teams.
“We are concerned about the security of the EVMs and possibilities of its tampering; hence have deployed teams outside the strong rooms to keep an eye,” said Vivek Katara, Congress candidate, Udaipur Rural seat. Similarly, senior Congress leader and party candidate from Udaipur City, Dr Girja Vyas also stated that teams have been assigned duties to keep a watch on the machines.
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Congress Ajmer (north) candidate Mahendra Singh Ralawata said, “I and my team have been visiting the strong room daily. In every three hours my team visits the Ajmer college where the EVMs are kept.”
Regarding the provisions of candidates monitoring the strong room, chief electoral officer Anand Kumar said tents are set up inside the campus where EVMs are kept to enable the candidates and election agents to keep a watch through CCTV cameras. In addition to this, they are permitted visit the strong room once or twice in a day.
AICC President Rahul Gandhi, too, had cautioned party workers on Friday as Rajasthan and Telangana voted in the assembly election. “Congress party workers, be vigilant after polls close today. In MP, EVM’s behaved strangely after polling: Some stole a school bus and vanished for two days! Others slipped away & were found drinking in a hotel. In Modi’s India, the EVMs have mysterious powers. Stay alert!” he had tweeted.
Gandhi’s comment came after some electronic voting machines and paper trail machines in Madhya Pradesh reached the strong room 48 hours after the elections were held on November 28. These machines were meant as reserves and were not used in polling.
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First Published: Dec 10, 2018 10:54 IST