Guwahati (Assam) [India], April 2 (ANI): Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Baijayant Panda has said that the truth on the incident involving an EVM in Karimganj had been revealed in the enquiry by the Election Commission and "there is absolutely no involvement of BJP and any political motive".
Panda, who is BJP vice-president and is in charge of Assam, accused Congress of making false allegations trying to blow the matter out of proportion.
"This is completely untrue. The Election Commission has already conducted an enquiry and taken action. I urge people to read the report released by the Election Commission. The fact is that one of the official vehicles broke down and they were offered some help by another vehicle and there was no political intent behind it," Panda told ANI.
The BJP leader said protocol was not followed and the Election Commission has taken punitive action against some officials.
"Perhaps, the protocol was not followed as a result of which the EC had taken some punitive action on some of the officials and ordered a re-poll on that booth. They made it very clear that it was just a case of the car breaking down and being offered help. There is absolutely no involvement of BJP and any political motive," he said.
"I think it is worth noting whenever Congress sees defeat staring at in its face, they start making these kinds of allegations and trying to blow it out of proportion which is obvious to everybody. The truth of the matter is revealed in the enquiry," he added.
The Election Commission on Friday suspended four officials after a video surfaced on social media purportedly showing an EVM being found in a BJP candidate's car in Patharkandi constituency following the second phase of polling in Assam.
The Presiding Officer was also issued a show-cause notice for violation of the transport protocol.
It also decided to conduct a re-poll at a booth of Ratabari constituency as an added precaution.
"The PO and three other officials have been placed under suspension," EC said in a release.
It said that although the seals of the EVM were found intact, the commission has decided to do a re-poll at number 149- Indira MV School of LAC 1 Ratabari (SC) as an added precaution.
The commission has also sought a report from the Special Observer on the incident.
It said that the vehicle which was allotted by the transport cell of the election branch, to the party carrying the polling party broke down, and "due to the traffic congestion and the poor weather condition, the party became detached from its convoy".
"At about 9.20 pm, the polling party hailed a passing vehicle and boarded it along with their EVM and other things without checking the ownership of the vehicle. As reported by the polling party, they moved towards Karimganj and as they reached Kanaishil in Karimganj at about 10.00 pm, they had to slow down in the traffic. As they slowed down, they were surrounded by a mob of about 50 people who started pelting stones at them," the Commission said.
The EC report said that as the vehicle-carrying polling party slowed down, it was surrounded by a mob of about 50 people who started pelting stones at them.
"The mob also started abusing them and did not allow the vehicle to pass. When they asked the leader of the mob, he replied that it was the vehicle of Krishnendu Paul who is a contesting candidate of a neighbouring constituency (Patharkandi LAC-2)...the antecedents of the vehicle were ascertained and it was found to be was registered in the name of Madhumita Paul, wife of contesting candidate, Krishnendu Paul" it added.
Congress leader Sushmita Dev had demanded disqualification of the BJP candidate over the EVM incident. (ANI)