Assam polls: Congress launches all-out attack after EVMs allegedly found in BJP candidate's car

Express News Service
GUWAHATI: The Congress on Friday launched an all-out attack on the Election Commission and the BJP hours after electronic voting machines (EVMs) were retrieved from the car of a “BJP MLA”.

“We have written to the Election Commission asking it if it is a party to EVM theft or it has closed its eyes like Dhritarashtra. The EVMs were found in the vehicle of BJP’s Patharkandi candidate (and sitting MLA) Krishnendu Paul and you have ordered re-poll at a booth in Ratabari constituency. How did you do that? Did you conduct a probe of how the EVMs made their way into Paul’s car? Shouldn’t Paul and others be arrested? Why the EC is not showing the guts to act is our question,” Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala told journalists in Guwahati.

He wondered if the EC was giving its back to its constitutional duties. “The EC’s credibility is being questioned today,” he said. Surjewala raised some questions and asked the Commission to answer. He asked what made it to transport EVMs in the vehicle of a BJP candidate.

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“In Hatipora of Karbi Anglong, EVMs were found in a luxury car. From when has the EC started transporting EVMs in luxury cars? It has to answer this. In Jamunamukh, EVMs were found in another vehicle. There were government officials in it but it was not escorted. There are standing Supreme Court directions that EVMs can be transported, before and after an election, only in the custody of paramilitary forces,” Surjewala said.

He asked if it was true that an EVM disappeared from a booth in Kalaigaon and later, retrieved by the voters. He wanted to know what actions the EC had taken if the incident was true. “In Dibrugarh, the movement of suspicious people was noticed at the strong room. What action was taken?” Surjewala asked.

He claimed the Congress-led and 10-party grand alliance of Opposition would get three/fourth majority in the polls. The third and final phase of which will be held on April 6.

“The BJP should now be named EVM Chor Party. It will not gain much by stealing two-four EVMs. People have already given their verdict. We are winning with three/fourth majority,” Surjewala said, adding, “Staring at defeat, the BJP is doing what it usually does. It should gracefully accept defeat”.