SP workers stop vehicle carrying ‘training’ EVMs, hold demonstration

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On Tuesday evening, Samajwadi Party (SP) workers staged a protest and stopped a vehicle carrying EVMs from Pahadia Mandi to UP College here on suspicion of foul play.

Pahadia Mandi is where the EVMs used in the just-concluded elections are stored in a vault.

The administration, however, said EVMs are being taken “for hands-on training (Wednesday) to election workers on counting day (March 10).”

Samajwadi party leader Pradeep Jaiswal said members of his party caught EVMs being loaded into a vehicle near the Pahadia Mandi vault. “We suspect there were irregularities,” Jaiswal alleged.

He said the administration should have informed them in advance that the EVMs, stored in a separate godown, would be taken for employee training. “My question is why the leaders of the PS were not informed,” he asked.

District Magistrate Kaushalraj Sharma said EVMs were taken for training in a vehicle to UP College from the store in a separate godown at Pahadia Mandi.

“After stopping the vehicle, politicians had spread a rumor that the EVMs were the ones used in the elections. The machines (which were transported in a vehicle) are still used for practical training. Tomorrow (Wednesday) is the second training session for employees engaged in the counting service and these machines were taken for training.

Sharma said: “The EVMs, which were used in the elections, are sealed in the vault which is under CRPF security. There is CCTV surveillance and all activities there are monitored by workers from all political parties. »

The DM interacted with the protesting SP leaders and clarified the matter to them.

Meanwhile, in Sonbhadra, SP workers staged a protest when a vehicle and trailer loaded with ballot papers and a ballot box reached the premises of the counting center in the Ghoraval area of ​​the district. They accused the administration of altering mail-in ballots and “rigging”.

Calling the allegations baseless, Ghoraval Subdivision Magistrate Ramesh Kumar said the vault was shown to the candidates. “There was no irregularity,” he said. He said the vehicle only contained election-related stationery.

The vault of the Ghorawal assembly constituency was built there at the Polytechnic College. After the poll, the EVMs were stored late at night and the chambers were sealed. Meanwhile, on Tuesday afternoon, a vehicle was spotted en route to the Polytechnic College.

SP district chairman Vijay Yadav said the ballot box and ballot papers were inside the vehicle and the ballot papers, in many bags, were also loaded onto the trailer outside. back.

After the demonstration started, the SDM arrived on the spot and tried to calm the SP men down, but to no avail. After that, other candidates were also called and the seal of the vault was shown to them.

Even after that, the protest by SP workers continued.

According to Yadav, the SDM said the driver of the vehicle mistakenly took him away with the ballot box and ballots.


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