May 19, 2022

EC on ‘stolen’ Akhilesh Yadav EVMs in Varanasi claim

Akhilesh Yadav, leader of the Samajwadi party

Photo: IENS

Lucknow: the Electoral Commission categorically rejected Samajwadi Festival chief Akilesh Yadav‘s EVM ‘stolen’ in Varanasi allegations, and stated that the voting machines which had been transported were intended for the training of counting officers and were not used in the Uttar Pradesh 2022 election. The UP Chief Electoral Officer released a statement late Tuesday evening saying members of a political party were spreading rumors by stopping the vehicle and alleging that these EVMs had been used in recently concluded polls.

EC’s reaction comes after Yadav alleged that the voting machines were tampered with and that the Varanasi District Magistrate was transporting them without informing local candidates.

“According to the report sent by the District Electoral Officer (of Varanasi), it was found during the investigation that these EVMs were marked for training. To train the officials involved in the counting, a training was organized for March 9 (Wednesday),” the polling committee said.

In a sensational claim, Akhilesh Yadav has alleged that a senior official in the UP Chief Minister’s Secretariat was ordering district magistrates in Uttar Pradesh to slow down vote counting on March 10, where the Bharatiya Party’s chances Janata (BJP) candidates who win elections are slim.

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It can be noted that alliance partners including SP leaders Naresh Uttam and Rajendra Chaudhary, party leader Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Om Prakash Rajbhar and Janwadi (socialist) party Sanjay Chauhan submitted a memorandum to the polling committee alleging “theft of EVM in Varanasi”.

Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, Yadav claimed that a truck carrying EVMs was intercepted by party workers in Varanasi while two other trucks managed to get away.

“If the EVMs were moved, the candidates concerned should have been informed in accordance with the directives of the electoral commission. We have videos to prove what we say,” the SP chairman said.

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Following Yadav’s allegations, Varanasi District Magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma met with representatives of several political parties and informed that the 20 EVMs being transported were not being used for the ballot and were being sent for training.

“About 20 EVMs were taken to UP College for training. Some politicians stopped the vehicle and spread rumors that these EVMs were used in elections. While the vault is different and this Captured EVM machine is different. Tomorrow is the second counting service delegate employee training and these machines are still used in training for hands-on training,” Sharma said.