KARIMGANJ: A war of words has erupted between the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party after a video surfaced on social media purportedly showing an EVM being found in a BJP candidate's car in Patharkandi constituency following the second round of polling in Assam.
While Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra demanded Election Commission to take action in the matter and asked all national political parties to have a "serious" re-evaluation on the use of electronic voting machines following the incident, party leader from Assam Sushmita Dev demanded immediate disqualification of the BJP candidate.
"This is a criminal act and we demand immediate disqualification of the candidate. This is clear that the BJP is losing in Assam that is why it is using illegal means to win the elections, which is unacceptable," said Dev.
Meanwhile, a delegation of Trinamool Congress leaders also met EC in Kolkata and requested to address the EVM issue.
"We have requested EC to address EVM issue and violence by BJP workers. It's EC's responsibility to ensure fair polls. Despite their tactics, Mamata Banerjee will win in Nandigram, and TMC will win in the previous two phases," said TMC leader Yashwant Sinha.
"Central Armed Police Forces, under instructions of the Home Minister, has acted in a complete departure from its duty to act impartially, by being a mute spectator to continual violence perpetrated by BJP, perpetrating violence and intimidating electors voting for TMC and inducing voters to vote for BJP," he added.
However, BJP said the Congress is losing the elections in Assam and is using the incident to justify the defeat.
"This is a language of defeat. Whenever Congress thinks they are about to lose, they use this language. This is spoken from a position of weakness. As the election results will near, Congress will say that BJP has tempered EVMs in ways that on pushing the button with 'hand' symbol, the vote is going to 'lotus'. The youth is literate, and they know what's right," said Union Minister Jitendra Singh.
BJP MP Dilip Saikia also called the allegation of EVM tempering an "old habit" of Congress and said his party believes in the Election Commission.
"When Congress wins, the EVMs are fine. But when they lose, the EVMs are tampered with. It is their old habit. We believe in the EC. We have already touched the magic number in Phase 1, 2. Phase 3 will just be a bonus for us. BJP is winning at least 90 seats," said Saikia.
The EC has issued a show-cause notice for violation of the transport protocol to the Presiding Officer and suspended him along with three other officials after the incident came to light in Assam.
EC also decided to do a re-poll at number 149- Indira MV School of LAC 1 Ratabari (SC) as an added precaution.