Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan Wednesday said the Congress is running a campaign of EVM tampering as it has sensed defeat in the assembly polls and asserted there is no reason to doubt the integrity of the Election Commission (EC).
The main opposition party has repeatedly raised concerns over the security of EVMs (Electronic Voting Machines) inside strongrooms and their handling during the counting process in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
Its leaders have also taken up the issue with the EC.
Chouhan said the Congress' concerns have no ground and claimed the EC has been more harsh with the BJP.
"The Congress has been raising baseless hue and cry (over EVM security issue). On the day of voting (November 28) Jyotiraditya ji (Congress campaign committee chief Jyotiraditya Scindia) wrote letter to EC.
"Congress (is) running a campaign of EVM tempering. There is no reason to doubt EC, which is a constitutional body," Chouhan told reporters here.
The chief minister said Rahul Gandhi-led party is not ready to trust anyone.
"A desperate Congress (is) trying to find excuse for its (imminent) defeat. For Congress, everybody including EC, officials, employees and police, is dishonest. Whom Congress will trust? It is trying to create an atmosphere of doubt," he said.
"On the contrary, the EC was more stern against the BJP. At times, it has acted
inhumanly while implementing the model code of conduct," the CM said, claiming that the EC even did not allow him to attend last rites of a friend.
"My friend and (BJP) worker Raghuvir Dangi died in Vidisha on November 27 (a day before voting in MP). I wanted to go in his last rites, but I was not given the permission by the EC," Chouhan said.
The CM said tampering EVMs is not a child's play.
"There is media...people are aware nobody can tamper with (an) EVM. Ye koi gudde-gudiya ka khel hai, koi bhi bula kar chhedchhad kar dega? (It is not a child's play). This is technically impossible," he said.
About the number of assembly seats the BJP expects to win in Madhya Pradesh, Chouhan, seeking a straight fourth term in office, said the ruling party will get "spectacular" majority.
Chouhan also said the BJP will retain Rajasthan (where voting is due on December 7). He had addressed several election rallies there.
Asked about the drop in prices of onion and garlic, Chouhan said the affected farmers will be compensated, but he is not able to take a decision in this regard as the model code of conduct is in force.
Asked about the Cabinet meeting held earlier in the day, the CM said some routine issues were discussed.
"About 4,000 machines, including EVMs and VVPATs, were changed during the polling. EVMs were deposited at some places as late as 48 hours. CCTVs installed for the security of strongrooms not worked for hours at several places," he claimed.
"Why Chouhan and his party didn't come up with complaints on this issue," the Leader of Opposition in the assembly asked.
Singh alleged strongrooms housing EVMs were not sealed properly at several places.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)