Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra asked party workers not to get disheartened by exit polls or rumours. “These are being spread to break your spirit,” she said in audio message, News18 reported.
Vadra asked party workers to remain alert outside strong rooms that house electronic voting machines, and counting centres in the country. “We are sure that your hard work will bear fruit,” she added.
Most exit polls have predicted that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance will win the Lok Sabha elections comfortably.
Meanwhile, some Opposition leaders claimed that there are reports of electronic voting machines being moved at certain places. Congress spokesperson Sanjay Jha tweeted: “Is our worst fears coming true? What is the Election Commission doing?”
Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav alleged that a “sudden movement of EVMs” is being observed across North India, and retweeted a video of a purported attempt at booth capturing. “Visuals and claims of sudden movement of EVMs observed across the north India!” he tweeted. “Why is it so? Who is transporting these EVMs & why?” Yadav demanded that the Election Commission issue a statement as soon as possible.
Afzal Ansari, the mahagathbandhan candidate from Ghazipur Lok Sabha constituency in Uttar Pradesh, confronted the police on Monday evening, raising doubts about the safety of EVMs. He claimed that a truck full of EVMs had been spotted. “Two vehicles were caught in Chandauli,” Ansari said.
He sat on a dharna outside the counting centre and demanded that instead of the Central Industrial Security Force, the Border Security Force must be deployed to protect EVMs.
On May 19, just before the exit poll results, Congress President Rahul Gandhi had tweeted: “From Electoral Bonds & EVMs to manipulating the election schedule, NaMo TV, ‘Modi’s Army’ & now the drama in Kedarnath; the Election Commission’s capitulation before Mr Modi & his gang is obvious to all Indians.”
West Bengal Mamata Banerjee, while dismissing “exit poll gossip”, had said: “The game plan is to manipulate or replace thousands of EVMs [electronic voting machines] through this gossip.”
Meeting with Election Commission
On Tuesday, a few Opposition leaders will meet the Election Commission to talk about tallying paper trail of votes, or VVPATs, with electronic voting machine figures, PTI reported. On May 7, the Supreme Court declined to hear a review petition filed by 21 Opposition parties urging it to direct the poll panel to cross-check at least 50% votes using Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail slips during the Lok Sabha elections that concluded on Sunday.
The court has asked the Election Commission to tally the VVPAT slips with the figures in five voting machines in each Assembly constituency.