Assam Polls: Violence Cribs Over as EVM Found Being Transported in BJP Candidates Vehicle

Story Highlights
  • EC assigned vehicle breaks down midway
  • BJP candidate’s car aids help
  • Opposition mob looms over the vehicle near the strong room

Assam: A ballot panel group’s unexplained determination to make use of a non-public car to move a digital voting machine (EVM) on the finish of polling sparked violence in Assam’s Barak Valley area yesterday. Blank shot firing and baton charging were practiced by the police personnel to safeguard the EVM and its personnel.

After concluding its second phase of polling on 1st April, recording over 77 % turnover, violence still made it way to the scene. Initiated in Karimganj, the violence took place when the EC assigned vehicle assigned to the team posted in Karimganj Ratnari constituency broke down. Whilst heading towards the strong room the presiding officer contacted the senior officer for a replacement vehicle. 

The polling staff, however, inexplicably took a lift on a private vehicle, which happened to belong to the BJP candidate from Patharkandi constituency, also in Karimganj district, the sources said. An official said today that one of the candidate’s relatives was the car’s owner. At the sight of the EVM in BJP’s car, opposition members mobbed it along with the driver. However, the ballot personnel managed to reach safety. The police official deployed physical attempts to secure the vehicle, EVM and the polling personnel, officials said.

Twitter flooded with opinions on the incident from opposition parties. The Congress’s Gaurav Gogoi, for instance, has said “this is the only way the BJP can win Assam”. 

Dubbing the BJP, a serial offender in such cases, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi, in a series of tweets, sought “a serious re-evaluation of the use of EVMs” by all national parties.

Badruddin Ajmal of the AIUDF, which is in alliance with the Congress, tweeted saying “stealing EVMs” was the BJP’s last resort after all its other moves — “polarisation”, “buying votes”, “doublespeak on CAA”, among others — had failed.

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