The Election Commission has categorically rejected the allegations by the Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress suspecting foul play in the just concluded assembly polls in Karnataka. The EC’s clarification comes in the wake of reports of VVPATs being abandoned in Managuli village of Vijayapura district. Responding to the letter written by BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa in which he said that the recovery of VVPATs at a village in Vijayapura indicates irregularities, the poll body said that the elections were held in a fair and free manner and the recovered items were the covers of VVPATs and not VVPAT boxes.
It said that all eight covers have been recovered by the poll officials from the spot and a probe is underway to ascertain if there were lapses. It said that poll officials have taken the matter very seriously and reiterated that it is committed to organise free and fair elections.
The clarification from the EC came after the BJP and Congress suspected foul play in the conduct of the elections. This morning, Yeddyurappa had written a letter to the Election Commission demanding a thorough probe and re-election insome of the constituencies. The Congress too has said that the party’s poor tally was a result of irregularities in the EVMs. According to the party, the internal surveys had predicted 120-127 seats but it won 78 seats.
This is perhaps the first time in last four years that the BJP has petitioned the Election Commission alleging wrongdoings in the conduct of elections. The Congress and other opposition parties, faced with continuous drubbings in assembly polls in recent years, had questioned the authenticity of the EVMs and demanded elections be held through paper ballots.