New Delhi, Dec 1 (IANS) A Congress delegation, which met the three-member Election Commission on Saturday, alleged a conspiracy to distort election results in Madhya Pradesh and expressed “grave concerns” about the safekeeping of EVMs and violations by district collectors in Chhattisgarh.
In two separate memoranda submitted to the poll panel, the party delegation led by Abhishek Singhvi and Manish Tewari demanded that necessary steps be taken for preventing manipulation of results and to ensure that the counting of votes and other related processes are free from interference in the two states.
The party alleged there was a larger conspiracy related to EVMs in Madhya Pradesh to distort the results of the elections.
It alleged that 48 hours after the close of polling in the state, a school bus with EVM machines and no number plate reached the Sagar District Collector’s office “ostensibly” to deposit those machines.
“This incident is a clear case of certain parties and individuals engaging in corrupt practices to manipulate the outcome of the recently concluded election,” the party said, demanding an inquiry and segregation of those machines from the rest.
“Furthermore, following the failure and malfunctioning of the EVMs during the conduct of the recently concluded elections to the state, there is a clear case to be made of a larger conspiracy to distort the results,” the memorandum submitted to the poll panel said.
The party also expressed concern regarding the security of election strongrooms saying the presence of unauthorised individuals in and around the strongrooms leaves the machines and the result vulnerable to manipulation.
It also called for segregation of used and unused EVMs, recommending that unused ones should be kept off campus if possible, or at least in separate sealed rooms.
The delegation also alleged “unlawful meetings” between the Chief Minister of the state with District Collectors during the operation of the model code of conduct.
“It has been observed in the ongoing Chhattisgarh state assembly election that the District Collectors have been operating mobile phones and other electronic devices inside the counting room,” the delegation said.
“…We hope that the commission will issue clear and strong directions to ensure that the sanctity and integrity of the recently concluded polls is maintained.”