MP bypolls: BJP, Cong indulge in allegations, counter-allegations

MP bypolls: BJP, Cong indulge in allegations, counter-allegations

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Bhopal:  The ruling BJP and the Principal Opposition Congress in Madhya Pradesh have mounted a fierce attack on each other over the alleged malfunctioning of electronic voting machines (EVMs), ahead of by-elections in Ater and Bandhavgarh constituencies. The spate of allegations and counter-allegations comes in the wake of a voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) machine linked to an EVM in Ater, allegedly dispensing slips with 'Lotus' symbol during an official demonstration before media persons in the presence of the state’s Chief Electoral Officer Saleena Singh on Friday. ''When the BJP wins, the Congress suspects foul play. On the other hand, they remain silent when they emerge victorious. The Congress is frustrated at being wiped out from the state,'' said Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, while addressing a public gathering at Salaiya village in Umarai’s Bandhavgarh constituency, today. The BJP also unleashed a campaign on social media asserting that EVMs are safe and no tampering was possible. One of the posts on social media stated, ''The Congress is now trying to mislead public in the name of EVMs. Upset over the fear of loss in Ater and Bandhavgarh by-elections, the Congress is putting the blame on EVMs.'' In another post, the BJP said, ''The process of readying EVMs is done in front of parties. News in media is misleading. No tampering is possible in EVMs. The video being circulated by the Congress on social media is only to mislead public.'' Yet another post mentioned that a demonstration was organised at the behest of media persons in the presence of three polls observers in Bhind. The Commission examines all the machines in the presence of all the political parties. EVMs do not have a memory of their own. In the demo, the EVM dispensed the right slip. Senior Congress leader and former Union Minister Kamal Nath, while talking to media in Chhidnwara before leaving for Umaria, said the issue of alleged tampering of EVMs is not a political issue. Rather, it is connected with trust in mandate. ''Earlier, Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati raised the suspicion. Now, the EVM dispensing slips of BJP symbol shows that something is fishy,'' he said.

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