In a shocking development, the Samajwadi Party candidate from Badaun, Dharmendra Yadav, has alleged that EVMs kept in a strongroom in Sambhal had been tampered with after breaking open the strong room’s seal.
Yadav, who won from here in 2014, was quoted by news agency PTI that he had the video evidence to prove that the strong room had been broken open to tamper with EVMs. Badaun had gone for polls on 23 April in the third phase of the Lok Sabha polls. The constituency is spread over Badaun and Sambhal with the strongroom situated in Sambhal.
“We have video footage and pictures that prove that the net on the outer doors of the strongroom was damaged and the seal of the inner gate, where the EVMs have been kept, was broken. A new seal has been put in its place,” Yadav was quoted by news agency PTI.
Yadav said that his party was lodging a complaint with the Election Commission adding that ‘We have information that EVMs of the Gunnaur vidhan sabha segment have been changed.’ The Samajwadi Party has also demanded the CCTV footage so that ‘truth can be established.’
Sabhal ADM (Administration) Lavkush Tripathi came up with a bizarre clarification stating that a parrot had got entangled in the net and in an effort to take it out, a part of the net of the outer gate was shifted from its place. Sambhal District Magistrate Avinash Krishna, according to PTI, also rejected the charges, saying there was no truth in them.
On 23 May, hundreds of EVMs and VVPAT machines were reported to be malfunctioning forcing the authorities to replace them. In one incident, during the mock polling, the BJP candidate had polled 17 votes even though he was only allotted 9 votes.