Akhilesh alleges BJP is stealing EVMs as SP workers intercept truck carrying EVMs

NEW DELHI: Ahead of the counting day in Uttar Pradesh on 10 March, the main contender in the race, Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav today accused the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of literally 'stealing' votes, claiming that his party workers had intercepted vehicles transporting Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) from several cities.

Addressing a press conference in Lucknow, Yadav said that his workers had intercepted a truckload of EVMs from Varanasi that were to be tampered with without informing the local candidates. He alleged that it was being done by the Varanasi district magistrate and urged that Election Commission to immediately look into it.

Yadav said that he had information that senior government officials were directing their subordinates in the districts where the BJP was likely to lose to slow down the counting of votes and dealay with the process. He claimed this was particularly true of at least 47 seats where BJP had won with a margin of fewer than 5,000 votes in the last state assembly polls.

The election commission and the local administration were quick to refute the charges, and a statement issued by the Varanasi district administration on behalf of District Magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma said that EVMs meant for training purposes were being transported in a truck. IT added that the EVMs were not used in the just-concluded polls as claimed by the political party workers. 

According to the statement, the EVMs which had been used in the polling are kept safe in the strongroom under the watch of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel and CCTV cameras, and representatives of all political parties were also keeping a vigil at these locations.

Most of the post-election exit polls have given a clear edge to the BJP in four of the five states that went for the assembly polls, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa, and Manipur, while Aam Aadmi Party is predicted to win the state of Punjab with a thumping majority. 


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