Congress MLA Sajjan Singh Verma
Congress MLA Sajjan Singh Verma
Photo: ANI

Among the several political parties alleging manipulation of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) with regard to the Bihar Legislative Assembly Election 2020, Congress' name comes up as the most prominent. The grand old party has been clamouring about "irregularity" in vote counting ever since the declaration of results in the Bihar polls. It is to be noted that no solid shreds of evidence, barring allegations, have been presented yet.

On Saturday, Sajjan Singh Verma, Congress MLA from Indore in Madhya Pradesh, once again brought the "vote tampering" bandwagon to the fore by claiming that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is "misusing" EVM.

"People's body language was in favour of Congress in MP, large crowd in Tejashwi Yadav's rallies indicated that it was a one-sided poll in Bihar. Mahagathbandhan would win Bihar and Congress in MP. I didn't believe earlier but now I do, that BJP is misusing EVM," news agency ANI quoted Congress' SS Verma as saying.

He further said that "developed nations have stopped using EVMs", hinting at the fact that India, as a developing nation, should stop EVM usage too.

Verma challenged the BJP to fight elections on "ballot paper".

"The day elections start taking place on the ballot paper, BJP will get to know of its 'aukat'," said the Congress MLA.

Notably, Chief Electoral Officer HR Srinivas had already, a day ago, dismissed any possibilities of irregularity in the declaration of results in the Bihar polls, asserting that all rules and guidelines of the Election Commission were strictly followed in the counting of postal ballots as well as allowing only the authorised persons to carry mobile phones inside the counting halls.

The detailed account answered all the queries raised by Grand Alliance leader Tejashwi Yadav during the day alleging "discrepancies" in the counting of votes "under pressure of chief minister Nitish Kumar and the BJP."

Of the 11 assembly constituencies where victory margin was less than 1000 votes, JD(U) won 04, RJD (03), BJP, LJP, CPI and Independent (one each).

Out of these 11 assembly seats, candidates or election agents had sought "recounting" of votes in six constituencies, the CEO said adding that Returning Officers have passed "reasoned order" rejecting the pleas for recounting in the five seats as the margin of victory was more than the rejected postal ballots.

Quoting ECs instructions, he said "where the margin of victory is less than the number of postal ballot papers rejected as invalid at the time of counting, all the rejected postal ballot papers shall be mandatorily re-verified by the Returning Officer before declaration of result.

"Whenever such re-verification is done, the entire proceedings should be video-graphed," he said.

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