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Posted at: May 22, 2019, 7:07 AM; last updated: May 22, 2019, 7:07 AM (IST)

SP-BSP candidate protests EVM ‘tampering’

Election Commission allays fears, administration increases security
SP-BSP candidate protests EVM ‘tampering’
Afzal Ansari, SP-BSP candidate from Ghazipur, protests outside a strongroom, alleging that the administration was changing EVMs. PTI

Tribune News Service

Lucknow, May 21

Afzal Ansari, 65-year-old mahagathbandhan candidate in Ghazipur, resorted to night-long dharna at the Jangipur Mandi Parishad complex where EVMs are kept to prevent them from being transported out in a vehicle — concerns that the Election Commission later dismissed.

In a video of the incident, Ansari and his supporters late on Monday were seen engaged in a heated argument with a police officer.

It made the district administration sit up and agree to a more transparent system, following which Ansari lifted his dharna around dawn. Here he is in a direct contest with Union Minister Manoj Sinha.

Grandson of Congress national president Dr Mukhtar Ahmed Ansari, one of the founders of Jamia Millia Islamia, Ansari said, “EVMs are being shifted out and probably replaced. None of the candidates were informed of the movement of EVMs. I am not going anywhere now because this is a clear attempt to resort to malpractices before counting.”

The EVMs of the seven Assembly constituencies under the Ghazipur Lok Sabha have been stored in five strongrooms at the Jangipur Mandi Parishad complex. Thirty Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel divided into teams of eight persons each are guarding the complex in three shifts.

Ansari demanded that at least two BSP workers must be issued passes to sit near the premises where EVMs were kept in strongrooms.

“As the news of my dharna spread, around 10,000 people gathered in support of it, following which the administration agreed to provide additional CRPF personnel,” he added.

Chief Electoral Officer of the state Venkateshwarlu allayed fears of political parties. Referring to the Ghazipur incident, he said the candidate wanted more number of people to keep a watch on EVMs on the basis of his apprehensions and the DM there has satisfied him and protesters have returned.

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