Opposition fears EVM tampering, advises cadre to guard strong room till counting

The workers, who will be on duty at the counting centre, have also been directed by their respective parties to match the number of votes polled with those counted.

Published: 21st May 2019 02:58 PM  |   Last Updated: 21st May 2019 03:02 PM   |  A+A-

EVM, general elections 2019

Election officers seal an EVM at the end of polling in Varanasi on Sunday. (File Photo | AP)

Express News Service

LUCKNOW: Amid allegations of EVMs tampering flying thick and wide after majority of exit polls projected a win for Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the main opposition parties including Samajwadi Party (SP), Bahujan Samja Party (BSP) in Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday cautioned their cadre to guard the strong rooms where EVMs have been kept right now.

The fear factor over possible EVM tampering is so high among the opposition parties that they have issued advisories to the workers to match the numbers of EVMs when they would be taken for counting of votes on the result day on Thursday, May 23.

The workers, who will be on duty at the counting centre, have also been directed by their respective parties to match the number of votes polled with those counted.

Taking a lead, the Samajwadi Party state chief Naresh Uttam issued written directives to the party workers on Monday asking them not only to guard the strong rooms in shifts of eight hours each but also recruit experienced counting agents along with ace lawyers, who should be present on the counting spot till the counting process got over.

ALSO READ: EC rejects charge of EVM misuse in Uttar Pradesh as video goes viral

Similarly, the BSP cautioned its counting agents to ensure that the green paper seal and special tag were same on the EVMs before letting them open for counting of votes. The BSP leadership asked is party workers to be doubly sure about EVM numbers so that they can’t be changed at the time of counting.

On the other, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi released an audio message for her party workers giving them a pep talk after the trends shown by the exit polls. She asked them not to get demoralized by Exit Polls and rumours. She issued an alert asking them to stay firmly outside the strong room and watch for any unusual activity in the vicinity. “My dear Congress workers don’t lose heart because of Exit Polls and rumours, such things are spread to demoralize you. You should be more alert now, stay firm outside the strong rooms and at the counting centres. We have a firm belief that our hard work will not go waste.”

Earlier in Ghazipur district, SP-BSP alliance candidate Afzal Ansari, sibling of mafia don-turned-poltitician Mukhtar Ansari,  put up a sit-in protest accusing the administration of trying to change the EVMs on Monday evening. BJP’s Manoj Sinha is taking on Afzal Ansari in Ghazipur.

FOLLOW OUR FULL ELECTION COVERAGE HERE

Ansari also demanded that administration to issue passes to at least two BSP workers who could sit near the premises where EVMs were kept in strong rooms at five different places in the constituency. “We have the fear that administration may get the EVMs changed at the behest of the BJP government. We are staging a protest until our demands are met by the district administration and we are assured about the safety of the EVMs. We will not go anywhere and will guard the EVMs on our own,” Ansari said.

However, Ghazipur District Magistrate K Balaji said that the administration was ready to issue passes to three people for eight hours each.

Meanwhile, senior SP leader and party candidate from Rampur, Azam Khan on Monday had
claimed that after the trends projected by various exit polls about the possible outcome of 2019 Lok Sabha election, the nation was in the grip of fear and uncertainty.

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