BHOPAL: Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan finally broke his silence over Congress’ sustained allegations about mishandling of electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the state, dubbing the allegations a part of the Opposition’s pressure tactics ahead of the counting on December 11.
Taking a dig at the Congress for unnecessarily raising a hue and cry which amounted to doubting the credibility of a constitutional institution like the Election Commission, Chouhan said the EC was harsh with the BJP and at times even inhuman while enforcing the model code of conduct in the state.
Chouhan, while talking to journalists in Bhopal before leaving for a leisure trip to Bandhavgarh National Park in Umaria district on Wednesday, said “The EC is a constitutional body whose credibility and impartial working can never be doubted. Frankly speaking, the EC and the poll officials have actually exercised strictness mostly with BJP. Not only has the EC been harshest with the BJP, but at times it has also been inhuman over adherence to the poll code,” said Chouhan.
“I couldn’t attend the last rites of a dear friend and co-worker Raghuveer Dangi on November 27 (a day before polling) in Vidisha district as the EC denied permission stating that as a candidate, I cannot go to another Assembly constituency. But despite this I never complained about it,” the CM said.
“Mai sach kah raha hoon, agar chunav aayog aur adhikariyon se sabse jyada koi pratadit raha hai toh voh BJP rahi hai (I’m telling the truth that if anyone has bore the brunt of harshness of the EC and poll officials, it’s been the BJP),” reiterated Chouhan.
Launching a scathing attack at the Congress for making allegations at various levels of the polling process, the CM said “it has been on since the polling day itself, as at 3 pm on November 28 only, Jyotiraditya Scindia wrote a letter to the EC.”
“After the completion of voting, every day from morning to evening, the Congress has been making allegations about the safety of EVMs kept in strong rooms. Even those politicians who are not candidates have managed to get entry into the strong rooms; but we’ve remained quiet. It seems the Congress, seeing defeat imminent in this election, is preparing the ground to shift the complete blame of its defeat on the EC, the poll officials and the police,” added Chouhan.
“The Congress seems to have no belief on the EC, poll officials and the police, no one knows on whom the opposition party and its leaders actually have faith. By embarking on a drive of baseless allegations, it has made the entire poll process look like a joke. Congress needs to come alive to reality that tampering with EVMs is not a gudde gudiyon ka khel (like playing with dolls),” he further added.
Responding to the CM’s statement about the EC and poll staff having been inhuman to the BJP, MP Congress president Kamal Nath tweeted that the CM’s statement amounted to disrespecting the poll staff and also doubting their impartial functioning. “The CM needs to clarify his statement and apologise for it,” tweeted Nath.