Lok Sabha polls: Opposition parties in Muzaffarnagar guard EVMs armed with lathis

There are at least 24 people standing on guard at the spot where EVMs are kept in Muzaffarnagar. A team of youths has been designated for this duty in night and day shifts

Lok Sabha polls: Opposition parties in Muzaffarnagar guard EVMs armed with lathis
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Aas Mohd Kaif

The opposition parties in Muzaffarnagar have been guarding the EVMs in Muzaffarnagar for the last thirteen days. After the polling on April 11, all the supporters of the Grand Alliance candidate Ajit Singh have camped in Muzaffarnagar guarding the voting machines.

The Electronic Voting Machines have been kept at Nai Mandi at Kukda. The results will be declared on May 23.  Not just in Muzaffarnagar, a team is also keeping a vigil at Malooknagar and Bijnor. There are at least 24 people standing on guard at the spot where the EVMs are kept. A team of youths have been designated for this duty in night and day shifts. They are being provided with the food and place to sleep and rest too.

Ajit Rathi, a regional leader from RLD is taking care of all these things. And youths from both the BSP and the SP are taking part in this vigil.

The place in Muzaffarnagar where the EVMs have been kept after polling
The place in Muzaffarnagar where the EVMs have been kept after polling

Right across the place where the EVMS have been kept, Ajit Rathi is staying in a makeshift tent. Smoking hookah, Ajit  Rathi says, “We do not trust the chowkidar. The chowkidar is not honest and the EV machines can be replaced any time so we have taken it upon ourselves to guard the machines.”

Alleging that the administrative officials have been trying to help the BJP candidates during the polling, he said, “We have been strongly opposing this. We are well aware of their intentions. They want to defeat Ajith Singh. A large number of people had come to vote and we are sure he will win. But these people want to change the EVMs so that they can defeat him. This is why, we have decided to guard the Electronic Voting Machines.”

Many among the people keeping a watch over the EVMs are farmers. Ajit Singh Choudhry is the RLD candidate against Sanjeev Baliyan of BJP from this constituency. In 2014, Sanjeev Baliyan had won with a clear majority of 4 lakh votes but this time the BJP is unsure because the opposition parties have united.

Bhagat Singh, a farmer from Sisoli is guarding the EVMs for twelve days even though it is time for harvesting the sugarcane and sowing wheat. He says “The present government is useless and this Modi has destroyed the farmers. This government should go. The BJP is capable of resorting to anything which is why I am standing guard here even though there is a lot of work pending in the fields.”

There are many farmers like Bhagat Singh. Major Singh says, “Ajit Singh is a gentleman but the BJP is very conniving. They have been trying all sorts of tactics to humiliate Ajit Singh. There were incidents of even bogus voting here.”

The spokesperson of RLD Abhishek Choudhry says, “The voter turnout here has been 66.66% and the election officials on duty also gave the same figure to the media but now in the electoral office the figure has become 68.22. The administration says that some people had cast their votes after 6 pm because they were in the queue and had to be allowed to vote.

The student wing of RLD with their leader Parag Choudhry, are also a part of the team guarding the EVMs. They argue that the extra 2% increase in the number of voters comes up to 30,000 votes. And why were all these people in the queue only in those polling booths that are supported by the BJP? Is it not obvious that sensing their defeat they have prepared a list of bogus voters? Even the officials seem to be involved in this, they allege.

The DM of Muzaffarnagar has denied these allegations and said that the polling took place impartially and in a fair manner and that the EVMS are being guarded very well.

The district head of BSP, Satpal Katiyar is also staying here. His family supports him fully in this matter. A  youth confided that his family members have asked him to stay here and keep watch of the EVMS and ensure that BJP does not form the government here again. “They are dishonest people and cannot be trusted. They have defamed the Supreme Court, the CBI and others. When Rafale files can go missing how easy it is for EVMS to be exchanged,” the youngman argues.

Rajender singh says, “The farmers do not want the BJP to come to power again. They have not raised a single rupee for the sugarcanes. These people will go to any extent to come to power. In 2014, they pitched Hindus and Muslims against each other. It is a sin to ask them a question. We will not allow them to come to power again.”

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