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Tripura protests to EC about BJP leader's EVM manipulation threat
TIWN April 15, 2017
Tripura protests to EC about BJP leader's EVM manipulation threat

Agartala, April 15 (TIWN / IANS): Tripura's ruling Left Front on Friday lodged a protest with the Election Commission against state BJP chief following his alleged comments about manipulation of the EVMs in favour of his party in next year's assembly polls.

The Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) Tripura President Biplab Kumar Deb however denied the allegations saying that he has said that the EVMs cannot be manipulated.

The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) led Left Front, quoting media reports, lodged a protest with the Election Commission alleging that Deb, during a public meeting in western Tripura, had said that the results seen in Uttar Pradesh and Manipur assembly polls will recur in Tripura too and even if Chief Minister Manik Sarkar casts his vote for his CPI-M, it will be recorded in favour of the lotus (BJP's election symbol).

Deb had also challenged Sarkar to lodge a case against him "if he has the guts", Left Front convener Khagen Das told the media here.

The Left Front demanded urgent appropriate action against Deb and to ensure full-proof workability of EVMs in Tripura's next year's assembly polls.

Das, who was accompanied by other Front leaders, said that Deb's comments came at a time when a national debate is going on about the accurate performance of the EVMs used in the election after BJP's sweeping victory in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand followed by alleged manipulation of EVMs in favour of BJP in a by-poll in Madhya Pradesh.

The Left Front along with its protest letter submitted CD, video and newspaper clippings of Deb's public speech to the Election Commission.

Deb denied the Left parties' allegations.

"In the public meeting I have said that some political parties including Left parties are trying to return to the age old system of voting. EVMs are tamper-proof and cannot be manipulated," he said, adding that what he was trying to say that as most people are now in favour BJP, hence all votes would cast in favour of this party. 

"Even Manik Sarkar's mind can change and he may cast his vote in favourt of BJP," he quipped.

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