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Controversy over EVMs continues, opposition asks workers to remain vigilant

IANS  |  New Delhi 

Ahead of the counting of votes on Thursday, the opposition parties have asked their workers to keep a strict vigil at places where Machines (EVMs) are stored amid apprehensions that EVMs could be tampered with.

The (EC) has repeatedly allayed apprehensions on this count, dismissing all reports of EVM manipulation.

The poll panel has asserted that all the EVMs along with the (VVPAT) machines were sealed properly and stored in guarded strong rooms.

Nearly four million EVMs were used in the seven-phased general this year as the country voted to choose the 17th Lok Sabha.

Videos of EVMs purportedly not reaching the strong rooms in time and allegations that machines were being changed in various parts of the country have created panic among the opposition parties.

on Wednesday urged the party workers to keep faith in the party and asked them to remain vigilant. "Dear workers, next 24 hours are important. Remain alert and vigilant. You are fighting for truth. Don't get disheartened by the false exit polls. Have faith on yourself and the party, your efforts would not go in vain," he tweeted.

The (SP), the and the (RLD) in and the and its allies in have also told their workers to keep a strict watch on the strong rooms across these states.

The development comes after some videos went viral on social media, purportedly showing EVMs being transported in open trucks. One video was claimed to be from the Chandauli Lok Sabha constituency in Uttar Pradesh, which showed EVMs being off-loaded and purportedly placed inside a room. The clip shows some people, apparently supporters of the Samajwadi Party, questioning it.

Similar complaints were registered in Ghazipur, Jhansi and Domariaganj in and Saran and Maharajganj in Even reports of clashes among political workers in and surfaced.

Complaints related to storage issues at strong rooms, security of strong rooms, permissions to candidates to post their agents at the strong rooms, CCTV monitoring and movement of EVMs were made till Wednesday.

As the controversy erupted, the set up a 24-hour EVM control room to deal with complaints related to EVMs round the clock.

The controversy took an ugly turn when (RLSP) Upendra Kushwaha, who dumped the BJP-led last year and joined the RJD-Grand Alliance, said that if an attempt was made to "loot" votes, people should pick up arms for protection of votes. "We will do anything for the protection of votes and would not allow any attempt to tamper with the EVMs," he said.

Responding to such threats and the possibility of violence after the announcement of election results, said on Tuesday night that "there will be a tit-for-tat".

Paswan said the opposition parties were seeking excuses in the face of their imminent defeat and raising doubts over EVMs. "When they see their defeat is imminent, they raise doubts over EVMs, but when they won in three states, they didn't say anything about EVMs," Paswan said, adding, "Why did they not raise doubts after they won in "

also expressed concern on Tuesday over the opposition making "needless controversy" over EVMs.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, May 22 2019. 18:06 IST