“There Was Lapse…”: SP Tweets Video Of UP Official Amid EVM Row

Varanasi| The Samajwadi Party, a day after its chief Akhilesh Yadav leveled sensational allegations of EVMs being moved illegally in Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi just 48 hours before the counting of votes in state elections, tweeted the on-camera statement of an official conceding there were “lapses”.

Varanasi’s Commissioner Deepak Agarwal, speaking to reporters last evening, appeared to accept that there was a lapse in protocol in the movement of EVMs. The officer, however, insisted that the vote machines in question were only for training purposes.

Mr Agarwal, stressing that there were CCTV cameras, security guards and political party representatives at counting centres, said: “If you talk about the protocol for the movement of EVMs, there was a lapse in the protocol, I accept that. But I can guarantee you, it is impossible to take away machines used in voting.”

“Political party workers can even sit outside the centres to keep an eye,” the commissioner added. 

The Samajwadi party, the main challenger to the BJP in the assembly elections, shared the commissioner’s comments on Twitter, and said it was an admission that protocol was not followed.

Tagging the poll body, the Samajwadi Party wrote: “There is information of violations in EVMs from various districts. On whose order is this happening? Are officials under pressure from the Chief Minister’s (Yogi Adityanath) Office? The Election Commission must clarify.”

Yesterday, Akhilesh Yadav levelled serious allegations regarding the security of the electronic voting machines (EVMs). 

The former UP CM accused the UP administration officials of tampering with the EVMs. He also alleged that the Varanasi District Magistrate (DM) was transporting EVMs without giving any information to local candidates. He urged the EC to look into it.

“All the candidates and supporters of SP-alliance should be ready with their cameras to thwart the attempt of rigging in the counting of votes. To protect democracy and future, youth become soldiers in counting of votes,” Akhilesh Yadav wrote in Hindi on his Twitter handle. The SP chief, rubbishing the Exit Polls that indicated a comfortable return to power for the BJP in UP, said the exit polls only want to create a perception that the BJP is winning.

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