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Oppn in Bihar alleges EVM manipulation, draws flak from NDA

Press Trust of India  |  Patna 

The opposition 'Mahagathbandhan' in on Tuesday alleged that attempts were being made to manipulate poll results in favor of the ruling NDA, and warned that "blood may spill on the streets" on account of "tremendous public anger".

The BJP hit back, saying an impending defeat had made the opposition grand alliance desperate and its statement was tantamount to "provocation for an armed rebellion".

At a joint press conference here, which was addressed by and former Union and other leaders of the grand alliance, they alleged that the exit polls' prediction of NDA winning 30 or more seats in out of 40 was "misleading", and aimed at "causing demoralisation among our cadres, with a mala fide intent".

"Earlier, we used to hear about booth loot. This time, it is suspected that attempts may be made to loot the results. These could be through manipulation of the EVMs or any other measures at the counting centres," Kushwaha said.

The leaders of the NDA are hereby warned not to indulge in such a misadventure. There is "tremendous public anger and blood may spill on the streets, for which we shall not be held responsible," he said.

"The exit polls appear to have been a step in this direction. We have all toured the state during elections and can say, without any hesitation, that we are set to win most of the seats in the state. Such has been the public response in favour of the

"The NDA, therefore, seems to have devised a plan to demoralise the opposition cadres so that the rigged results could later be justified. We are dealing with people who are in power but have no scruples. All workers are, therefore, urged to keep round the clock vigil at counting centres..." said the RLSP chief, who is contesting from Karakat, besides Ujiyarpur.

The NDA must take care that things do not reach a flashpoint, he said.

reacted sharply to Kushwaha's remarks, saying it is undemocratic and unconstitutional.

"It is nothing short of a provocation for an armed rebellion. We are not living in times when people can be misled into causing riots. The has been pursuing a shallow brand of politics and casting aspersions on all institutions out of frustration.

"First, it was the armed forces, then came the turn of the Now, they are after the channels which have broadcast the exit polls. They must apologise for making outrageous comments at a press conference," Anand said.

The RLSP chief, whose views were echoed by other alliance partners, also expressed concern over reports, in a section of the media, of EVMs being transported a day after polling was over in several parts of India, including district in

Former chief and RJD leader Rabri Devi, who was not present at the press conference, also issued a statement questioning "discovery of EVMs outside the strong rooms in several parts of the state" and sought to know "where were these kept and being taken to, and for what purpose".

The Election Commission, meanwhile, denied these allegations.

"The EVMs at were meant for training the personnel involved in counting. These were not from among the polled machines kept at the strong room. Rather, these were kept at a warehouse for training purpose.

"Public representatives have been shown the warehouses and the EVMs kept therein and they have been satisfied," it said in a release.

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

First Published: Tue, May 21 2019. 23:51 IST