Congress alleges official rigging of LS polls in Telangana

Congress alleges official rigging of LS polls in Telangana

The Congress party has alleged that the Lok Sabha elections, held in first and single phase in Telangana State on April 11, might have been officially rigged.

Hyderabad: The Congress party has alleged that the Lok Sabha elections, held in first and single phase in Telangana State on April 11, might have been officially rigged.

Addressing a press conference at Gandhi Bhavan on Tuesday, Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) Official Spokesperson Syed Nizamuddiin has accused the Election Commission of tampering with the polling figures to benefit the ruling TRS. "The difference between the polling percentage till 5 pm and Final Voter turnout is huge. Election authorities might have adjusted the figures to suit the requirement of TRS," he alleged.

Nizamuddin said that the manipulations occurred after 5 pm on April 11. He said the polling time for all seats, except Nizamabad was till 5 pm. "Since people already standing in queue at 5 pm are allowed to vote, the final polling figure gets changed. Election Commission took advantage of this provision to manipulate the polling figures. We suspect that EVMs have either been replaced in many polling booths or the figures were selectively increased in constituencies where TRS was feared to lose elections," he said.

Furnishing the break-up between of polling figures 'Upto 5 pm' and 'Final Turnout' of all 17 constituencies, the Congress leader pointed out that Nizamabad registered an increased by 14.13% followed by Mahabubabd (8.89%); Nalgonda (8%); Khammam (7.32%); Secunderabad (7.06%); Malkajgiri (6.65%); Peddapalli (6.14%); Bhongir (6.14%); Hyderabad (5.26%); Nagarkurnool (5.17%); Adilabad (4.64%); Warangal (3.79%); Medak (3.12%); Zaheerabad (1.87%); Karimnagar (1.45%) and Mahabubnagar (0.4%). He said the overall increase in State Turnout was 2.12%. "Increase in polling percentage can be believed. But how could voting percentage come down? In Chevella, it was 53.8% till 5 pm and the final figure was 53.22%. Therefore, the polling percentage in Chevella got reduced by 0.58%. How this is possible?" he asked.

Nizamuddin said that the GHMC has changed the polling figures twice in less than 24 hours. In Hyderabad Parliamentary Constituency, the polling percentage increased by 5.26%. Till 5 pm, it was 39.49%, but the final figure was 44.75%. "Number of votes polled in Charminar constituency of Hyderabad LS seat till 5 pm, as per the document signed by the Returning Officer, was 95,063. But the same Returning Officer furnished another list mentioning the number of votes as 94,863. How 200 votes got reduced in the Charminar Constituency?" he asked.

He said the increase in final voter turnout was huge in other constituencies. "It was 25,908 in Bahadurpura; 21,096 in Yakutpura; 19,975 in Chandrayangutta; 14,120 in Karwan; 12,428 in Malakpet and 9,715 in Goshamahal. How is it possible that 103,042 voters were standing in queues at 5 pm while the overall turnout was 773,036 from 7 am till 5 pm?" he asked while alleging that the figures clearly show that polling process has been manipulated.

Nizamudddin pointed out that in the Assembly elections held in December 2018, the final polling percentage was declared after 24 hours. "This time too, polling percentage till 5 pm was released to the media by 6-7 pm. But final figure was released only on next day. Why there was much of delay? When figures of polling till 5 pm can be released in two hours, then why final figures were not released till 10 pm or even at midnight. This is a huge scam and democracy will be finished if no action is taken now," he said.

The Congress leader also displayed two different video clips pertaining to Telangana wherein some unidentified people are seen taking away EVMs in an auto-rickshaw and a car. He said many such clips of private individuals possessing EVMs are in circulation in social media. While this clearly strengthens suspicion that EVMs have been manipulated, the silence and inaction of Election Commission on such complaints proves that the elections were officially rigged. "If Election Commission doesn't want to hold polling in a fair manner, then it should directly give winning certificate to the candidate of ruling party immediately after filing nomination. It need not enact the drama of holding polls by wasting hundreds of crores of public money and everyone's time," he said.

Nizamuddin demanded that the Election Commission place booth-wise and hour-wise figures of polling for all 17 constituencies in public domain. He said these figures should be cross-checked with the CCTV footage of polling stations and they must match with the votes to be counted in EVMs. In case of any mismatch, there should be re-polling in the entire constituency.

"Polling percentage is going down in every election as people have started losing faith in Election Commission. Our democracy is in great danger and if we don't take corrective steps immediately, then the entire country will face serious consequences," he said adding that Telangana CEO Rajat Kumar has lost his reputation and if the Central Election Commission is still fair, then it should order a probe by keeping officials like Rajath Kumar away from the entire process.

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