A day after cases of voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines were found abandoned in a shed in Vijayapur district of Karnataka, state BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa has written to the election commission, alleging “grave irregularities” in the recently conducted assembly elections.
In a letter to Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat, BS Yeddyurappa alleged, “This incident has exposed the hollowness of the claim of the election commission that assembly elections in Karnataka were held in a fair and free manner.” He said there is a nexus between election commission officials and Congress-JDS alliance in the state.
Earlier in the day, Karnataka’s Chief Electoral Officer Sanjiv Kumar told reporters that eight VVPAT carrying boxes, not the machines, had been found. “VVPATS are electronically monitored and can be tracked with the six-digit bar code – one alphabet and five numerals. The VVPATS found in Vijaypur do not have the six-digit code,” Mr Kumar said.
Denying foul play, Kumar said these quality cases are very similar to election commission’s cases, but these have nothing to do with the poll process. He claimed all 2274 VVPAT machines are safe and under the scrutiny of election commission officials.
In his letter, Mr Yeddyurappa alleged a nexus between election officials and the Congress that is now set to be part of a government headed by the JD(S).