A Congress party delegation, led by senior leaders Kamal Nath and Kapil Sibal, visited the Election Commission of India and highlighted the issue of alleged faults in Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), particularly in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting with the EC officials, Nath said that in most districts of Madhya Pradesh, the party has received complaints about EVM faults and alleged that some of these machines were found in hotels. He demanded that the officials concerned should be suspended and barred from the counting process.
"Another demand that we raised is that unless the first round of results are not declared, the second round should not commence. The authorities, who are found guilty, should be suspended immediately," said Nath, who is president of Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee.
The counting of votes for assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Telangana and Mizoram, is scheduled to be held on December 11 at various locations across these states.
Last week, Congress leader PL Punia met EC officials in Delhi and urged to ensure a secured counting process and firm security measures for EVMs in Chhattisgarh. He alleged that some unidentified persons with laptops and mobiles were seen around the strong room, which was not allowed.
Congress and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) workers protested outside the strong room in Madhya Pradesh's Satna last month after a viral video showed an unknown person taking a carton inside the highly protected area, where EVMS were allegedly locked. The workers claimed that the BJP-led state government was trying to tamper the voting machines. However, the district administration has denied all the charges and stated that the EVMs were under the supervision of security personnel.
Reacting to a CCTV video posted by senior party leader Ahmed Patel, where two men could be seen carrying two boxes allegedly to the strong rooms, where the EVMs were kept after the voting, Sibal said that such an act was wrong and Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh should chair a cabinet meeting over the issue.
"We have stated examples before the EC that the EVMs are being transported using private school buses, which don't have a number. They don't have an EVM tracking system. Nobody knows which EVM goes where," Sibal told reporters.
He further said that the delegation urged the EC officials to send a notice to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah for giving false statements in Telangana, which might trigger communal violence in the poll-bound state.
Condemning the arrest of Telangana Congress working president Revanth Reddy earlier today, Sibal asserted that the party wants a reason why he was arrested, adding that no such arrests should have been made during election time.
According to media reports, Reddy was arrested in the early hours of Tuesday on charges of stopping a public meeting of Telangana caretaker chief minister K Chandrashekhar Rao in Kodangal constituency.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)