Alleging the BJP in “collusion with the local administration” was “attempting to tamper/replace” EVMs during the November 28 Madhya Pradesh Assembly polls, the Congress of Tuesday sought an EC probe into four such incidents, including where EVMs were being transported to a collection centre in Sagar after 48 hours of polling.
A Congress delegation led by former Union Ministers Kapil Sibal and Kamal Nath submitted a memorandum to the Election Commission, including video evidence of the four incidents, that occurred respectively in Sagar, Bhopal, Satna and Shajapur districts.
“A number of incidents in various districts of MP have been reported demonstrating the ruling BJP in collusion wih local administration tried to tamper/replace the EVMs used in the districts of Sagar, Bhopal, Satna, Shajapur and districts,” the Congress said in the memorandum.
Citing the incident in Sagar where EVMs were transported in a vehicle without a registration number and reaching the collection centre 48 hours after the voting ended in the state, the Congress demanded a probe into all the EVMs to ascertain which authority directed the transport of the EVMs and whether any “foreign chip or any external device or component has been attached to the EVMs”.
It also demanded a probe into an EVM strongroom facing blackout in Bhopal on November 30 with CCTVs not working during the blackout.
The EC had earlier admitted that that CCTV cameras and an LED display installed outside the strongroom did not function from 8.19 am to 9.35 am on November 30 due to the failure of electricity supply.
Pointing to two polling officers “found drunk” along with EVMs inside a hotel owned by a Bharatiya Janata Party functionary a day before the polls (Nov 27), the Congress asked for a probe to ascertain if those EVMs were used in the poll process and if yes, whether they have been tampered.
The two officers were subsequently suspended by the EC after a video of the duo with the voting machines went viral on social media.
Regarding the incident in Satna where a strongroom CCTV footage revealed “two people taking cartons inside the highly protected area”, the Congress said the “security of the strongroom was compromised to benefit certain persons” and demanded that all the EVMs stored in the room be crosschecked in the presence of representatives of all political parties.
It also sought a detailed investigation as to how unauthorized persons with cartons were permitted to illegally enter the strongroom.