• Wednesday, May 19, 2021
  • Last Update : 01:11 am

India's opposition parties allege vote machine fraud

  • Published at 11:58 am May 22nd, 2019
Polling officials seal an Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) at a polling station after the end of the last phase of the general election in Kolkata, India, May 19, 2019 Reuters

Their concern stemmed from video clips on social media purportedly showing attempts to replace the machines in strongrooms ahead of counting in some places

India's main opposition parties Tuesday alleged voting fraud in the country's general election, days after exit polls predicted a comfortable win for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling right-wing party.

Members of as many as 22 parties called on the poll watchdog and demanded that electronic machines used to record votes be guarded more stringently, and that counting be done in a fair and transparent manner.

India's marathon election wound up on Sunday after almost six weeks of voting, with results expected on Thursday.

Several polls have suggested Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its allies would secure enough seats to secure a second five-year term.

Opposition leaders -- including from the main Congress party -- said Tuesday the Election Commission must ensure voting machines were not manipulated in any way.

Their concern stemmed from video clips on social media purportedly showing attempts to replace the machines in strongrooms ahead of counting in some places.

"We are asking the Election Commission to respect the mandate of people. It cannot be manipulated," said N. Chandrababu Naidu, of the regional Telegu Desam Party.

Satish Chandra Mishra, a member of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), alleged "large-scale bungling" of the voting machines in Uttar Pradesh state, the biggest by number of lawmakers. 

The Election Commission moved swiftly to deny the reports, saying voting machines were "absolutely safe in strongrooms", and those shown in video clips were reserves.

"The Election Commission of India would like to emphatically and unambiguously clarify that all such reports and allegations are absolutely false, and factually incorrect," it said in a statement. 

"The visuals seen viral on media do not pertain to any EVMs (electronic voting machines) used during the poll."

It also said candidates and their agents could be present in strongrooms "for 24x7 vigil at all times".

The BJP and the main opposition Congress Party, led by Rahul Gandhi, have fought the most acrimonious election campaign in decades, exchanging almost daily barbs and insults.

A slew of exit polls released Sunday projected the BJP and its allies would win between 282 and 313 seats of the 543 available in India's lower house.

While the BJP has appeared cautiously optimistic about the projections, Congress and other opposition parties have sought to downplay them.

Priyanka Gandhi, a popular politician who is the sister of Congress president Rahul Gandhi, has urged her party not to be disheartened by the exit polls.

"These are crafted to undermine your spirits," she said, according to the Press Trust of India.

Facebook 54
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail