Varanasi officer admits to a lapse in EVM protocol, suspended

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rejected the allegation made by the Samajwadi Party.

The Commissioner of Varanasi, Deepak Agarwal, was suspended from duty a day before the announcement of election results, on Wednesday, following allegations of lapse in protocol during the movement of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM).

While speaking to the media, following the allegations, Deepak appeared to admit to the mistake. However, he stressed that the machines under scrutiny were only used for training purposes. 

This comes a day after Samajwadi Party’s president Akhilesh Yadav alleged that a truck carrying EVMs was “intercepted” in Varanasi and accused the ruling BJP of attempting to “steal” votes.

MS Education Academy

The party on Twitter shared the video where it appears that the commissioner admitted to the lapse.

“If you talk about the protocol for the transport of EVMs, there was a lapse in the protocol. I will accept that. But I can guarantee you, it is impossible to take away machines used in voting,” Agarwal said. He also elaborated on the fact that there were CCTV cameras, security guards, and representatives of all political parties at counting centers.

The Varanasi district administration said EVMs meant for training purposes were being transported in a truck, which was stopped by some “political persons” who spread “rumours” that the machines were used in the just-concluded polls.

ANI quoted SP candidate from Sarojini Nagar, Lucknow, Abhishek Mishra over the issue as he raised questions over Deepak’s comments. “EVMs were left on streets for 1-2hrs in Varanasi, how could DM & Police leave them & run? Why were they not suspended? EC should take cognizance & suspend DM. Is training only in Varanasi only as it’s PM’s constituency?” questioned Mishra.

“If it was a part of a training process, all candidates should’ve been called and informed about the same… Bareilly, Sonbhadra, & many other districts have EVM issues, but neither EC, DM, nor UP govt is taking any action,” he alleged.

At a press conference in Lucknow, Yadav alleged that senior government officials in the state capital are directing their subordinates in the districts to slow down the counting of votes and prolong the process till late night where the chances of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidates winning the electoral contest are slim.

He said the instructions are particularly with regard to 47 seats that the BJP had won in the last state Assembly polls with a margin of fewer than 5,000 votes.

“Instructions are being sent to the district magistrates from the chief minister’s residence by the principal secretary to the chief minister that wherever the BJP is losing the election, the counting should be delayed and it should be stretched till late night,” he said.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rejected the allegation made by the Samajwadi Party. The party leader Keshav Prasad Maurya asked the SP Chief to be patient and wait to know what’s in the EVMs on the counting day (March 10). 

With Agency inputs…

Subscribe us on The Siasat Daily - Google News
Back to top button