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Gujarat civic polls: After defeat, Cong alleges EVM tampering

Source: PTI
October 15, 2010 00:03 IST
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Following defeat in the recent elections in six municipal corporations in the state, the Gujarat Congress on Thursday alleged that the Electronic Voting Machines used during the polls were tampered with, and claimed that it was the "machine magic" that did the trick for Bharatiya Janata Party.

"Records show that till 4 pm the percentage of voting was around 20 to 25 in most of the state. Then, in the last one hour nearly 15 to 20 per cent votes were cast. Now how is that possible," former Union textile minister and senior Congress leader Shankersinh Vaghela told media-persons in Ahmedabad.

"All EVMs have been made by a Hyderabad-based company for the state government eight years ago. Therefore, it is the state government that has control over them. I believe that they have tampered with the EVMs," Vaghela alleged.

"It is not Modi magic, but machine magic which has brought victory to the BJP. The municipal polls do not reflect public opinion," he added. Vaghela also demanded an enquiry into the matter and demanded that a committee comprising members of BJP, Congress and technical experts be constituted for the same.

Gujarat Congress president Siddharth Patel said that by tampering EVMs the BJP had tampered with the public opinion. "The EVMs used during the polls are old and outdated. Voting preference of a voter could be tampered with using the simple bluetooth technology," Patel alleged.

"The EVMs need to be checked as these machines have been made for the state government by a private company and not by the Central Election Commission," he added.

Patel further alleged that a technical expert from the United States was called specially for the poll by the chief minister's office.He added that they would also introspect on party's defeat in the all six municipal corporation elections, the results of which were declared on Tuesday.

Out of the six municipal corporations, the BJP won five -- Ahmedabad, Surat Rajkot, Vadodara and Bhavnagar – with two-third majority while Jamnagar was won by the saffron party with simple majority.

In run up to the polls, a number of Congress workers had protested against the party after they were denied tickets for the municipal polls. There were also a couple of incidents of violence where the workers had ransacked ward offices of the party in some areas.

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