Madhya Pradesh assembly elections 2018: Polls for Madhya Pradesh has been held on November 28 and results will be declared on December 11. Results for four other state elections – Rajasthan, Mizoram, Telangana and Chhattisgarh – will also be declared on the same day. The Congress party complained to the Election Commission on Saturday about an alleged “conspiracy” to distort election results in Madhya Pradesh assembly elections 2018, expressing concern over a perceived lack of sufficient security outside ‘strong rooms’ storing electronic voting machines (EVM). Senior Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia urged the EC to ensure the security of EVMs and take strict action against anyone found tampering with the machines.
“Non-functioning of the LED screen outside the strong room at Bhopal, reserve EVMs of home minister’s constituency in Sagar district reaching 48 hours late and video of boxes being taken into the strong room at Satna-Khargone indicated some big conspiracy,” Scindia tweeted. He was referring to a set of videos doing the rounds in Madhya Pradesh. HT couldn’t independently verify the authenticity of the videos.
Congress, BSP and AAP workers protested after a video clip went viral on Friday purportedly showing a man taking a box inside a strong room in Satna district. But the district administration denied that the video showed the gate of the strong room. In Khargone district, too, a video clip purportedly showing the entry of unauthorised people into the strong room went viral, triggering protests. In Sagar district, Congress claimed some EVMs reached the collection centre about 48 hours after polling because they were first taken to a hotel owned by a BJP minister.
Senior leader Ahmed Patel said the EC should allow representatives of all political parties while transporting EVMs to counting centres from strong rooms and review the conduct of officials in certain districts.
“Chief electoral office again reaffirms that all EVMs are tamperproof. All EVMs are safely secured and sealed in strong rooms. More importantly, they are under joint surveillance of police force and political parties,” the state election commission tweeted.
“There is no confusion about the security of strong rooms. All the 51 strong rooms were sealed on November 28 and will be opened only on December 11. The strong rooms are under the strict vigilance of para-military forces. Unused VVPAT, EVMs and batteries have been stored separately in warehouses. The videos which went viral were related to the warehouses only.” said Chief electoral officer VL Kantharao.