Ahmedabad, Dec 5 (UNI) The Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee today demanded that necessary steps be taken by the Election Commission to check the likely tampering of the voting pattern by manipulating the electronic voting machines in the state in the upcoming Assembly elections.
Addressing reporters here this evening, after submitting a representation to the Chief Election Commissioner N Goapalaswamy, who is camping in Surat, AICC Secretary Manish Tiwari said feedback had been received from office bearers of the GPCC that corrupt practices could be initiated by the BJP by manipulating electronic voting machines and by allegedly making payment for purchase of voters identity card.
The Congress team met the CEO at Surat and informed him that fake identity cards had been manipulated in Ahmedabad. The GPCC also alleged that large scale complaints have been received from various cross sections of citizens, particularly in the areas of Ahmedabad and Jamnagar, that the ruling BJP could induce voters to surrender their voter identity cards by offering them Rs 250 to Rs 500 per card.
Mr Tiwari expressed apprehension that this practice could be adhered to in areas housing vulnerable and needy sections of the society, who could be easily induced so as to prevent them from exercising their right to franchise. ''These are the areas which are traditionally with Congress vote bank and housing lower sections of the society'', he said.
''This amounts to corrupt practice and obviously cannot be done without the knowledge and consent of the candidates and their workers in the respective constitiency'', Mr Tiwari said.
Mr Tiwari alleged that according to the information gathered, in each Assembly segment, 25 to 30 per cent of the polling booths have been identified for the purpose of tampering with the electronic voting machine so as to see that every third vote cast is polled in favour of the ruling BJP.