“Will Say EVM Bewafa Hai”: BJP Minister’s Dig At Akhilesh Yadav’s “Century” Claim

UP Elections 2022: The next phase of polling in the state will be held on February 23.

New Delhi:

Ridiculing Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav’s claim that his party has “hit a century” in the first two phases of the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, Union Minister Anurag Thakur today said that Mr Yadav won’t be able to cross 100 even after all seven phases of polling in the state. In a dig at complaints by Mr Yadav’s party of discrepancies in Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) during the third phase of polling, the Minister said they’ll blame the EVMs on the day of the counting of votes.

“On March 10 (counting of votes), he’ll say ‘EVM bewafa hai‘ (EVM is unfaithful),” Mr Thakur told news agency ANI in Uttar Pradesh”s Banda.

The Samajwadi Party claimed on Sunday that in a polling booth in Kanpur, even when a voter pressed the button next to the Samajwadi Party symbol, the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) issued a slip of the BJP. The Election Commission called the allegations baseless. The party also complained that several voting machines in the state were either defective or malfunctioning. 

The Samajwadi chief had also boasted that his party would hit another century in the next two phases of voting. “We have hit a century in the first two phases and even in the next two phases, the Samajwadi Party alliance will be ahead of everyone else,” Akhilesh Yadav, seen as the big challenger of the state’s ruling BJP, told NDTV.

Anurag Thakur further claimed that Mr Yadav will lose from the seat he is contesting as well. The Samajwadi chief is contesting his first-ever state elections from the Karhal assembly seat in Mainpuri, the Yadav family’s home turf. Karhal is currently represented by party strongman Sobaran Singh Yadav, who won the seat from the BJP in 2002 and then switched to the Samajwadi Party.

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“He’ll lose from Karhal too. SP’s ‘gunda raj‘, ‘mafia raj‘ and collusion with terrorists will not be accepted by people,” the minister said. 

The BJP has fielded Union minister SP Singh Baghel against Akhilesh Yadav from Karhal. A five-time MP and a former officer in the UP Police, Mr Baghel was once the personal security officer (PSO) of Samajwadi patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav. Yadav senior made his first appearance this election season at a rally to support his son in Karhal. The SP has lost this seat just once since the party’s inception in 1992.

The elections to the 403 assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh are being held in seven phases this time. The polls for three phases were held on February 10, 14 and 20. The next phase of polling in the state will be held on February 23.

Votes will be counted on March 10.


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