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Thursday 9 April 2020

Samajwadi Party: Pressing cycle button on EVM yields lotus on VVPAT

The chief electoral officer said about the complaint by the Samajwadi Party, 'A report in this case has been sought from the home department.'

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Lucknow: The Samajwadi Party on Monday urged the Election Commission (EC) to remove Uttar Pradesh’s police chief OP Singh, alleging he was “favouring” the ruling BJP and trying to influence elections.

The Samajwadis also alleged that in at least two polling booths in Kannauj, from where SP chief Akhilesh Yadav’s wife Dimple is contesting the Lok Sabha election, the Voter-Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines recorded the vote for the BJP when the vote was cast for the SP.

The Samajwadi Party claimed further that the police issued “notes” warning SP supporters in the constituency, asking them to remain inside their home after casting their vote.

Samajwadi Party leader Dharmendra Yadav said Director General of Police Singh was “misusing” the government machinery to help the BJP. “We demanded from the EC to remove him immediately,” he told reporters after meeting Chief Electoral Officer L Venkatenshwar Lu.

Yadav led an SP delegation to the EC official and submitted a memorandum demanding that the DGP be immediately removed. The document also highlighted the issue of “faulty” EVM units.

“Police are terrorising minority voters. The force is being misused in favour of the BJP. We have apprised the CEO about it,” SP spokesman Rajendra Chowdhury said. The memorandum specifically highlighted the booths in Kannauj where EVM units allegedly malfunctioned.

In booth number 482 and 483, the party claimed, the VVPAT showed a ‘lotus’ (BJP poll symbol) slip, when the ‘cycle’ (SP symbol) button was pressed on the EVM unit.

Chowdhury alleged that a police inspector in Kannauj was working as a “BJP agent”. The SP delegation requested the CEO to look into the matter to ensure free and fair polls.

Giving details, MLC Rajpal Kashyap said that from booth number 197 in the Tirwa assembly segment (Kannauj) SP booth agents were taken away by police “on directions of the local BJP MLA”.

Kashyap alleged that at booth number 92 of the same area, BJP agents “snatched” voter slips from people and cast votes themselves with “the help of police”.

The party also alleged that “red cards” (warning notes) were issued to a large number of SP supporters by police restricting them in their homes.

“You can affect peaceful polls. After casting your votes, you should take rest in your house. Do not roam outside,” reads a “red card” issued to Indra Kumar Gupta in Gursahayganj.

Kashyap alleged, “Police are openly working as BJP workers and specific details have been sent to the EC.”

When contacted, the chief electoral officer said, “A report in this case has been sought from the home department.”

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