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Upendra Kushwaha warns against vote tampering, threatens bloodshed

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Patna, May 21: Rashtriya Lok Samta Dal (RLSP) chief Upendra Kushwaha stoked a controversy on Tuesday after he urged the people of Bihar and mahagathbandhan allies to protect their vote even if it takes to pick up weapons.

Kushwaha's statement came hours after the videos of EVMs being allegedly transported and stored in unauthorised vehicles that emerged online on Tuesday.

File photo of Upendra Kushwaha

Recalling the times when booth capturing incidents used to be common in the state, Kushwaha said, "Today the booth capturing does not take place but there are efforts being made to loot the election results. If an attempt like this is made this time, then I urge the people of Bihar and mahagathbandhan to even pick up weapons to protect their votes."

Day after praising EC, Pranab Mukherjee raises concern over EVM tampering

Earlier, we used to hear about booth loot. This time, it is suspected that attempts may be made to loot the results. These could be through manipulation of the EVMs or any other measures at the counting centres. The leaders of the NDA are hereby warned not to indulge in such a misadventure. There is tremendous public anger and blood may spill on the streets, for which we shall not be held responsible, Kushwaha told reporters.

The exit polls appear to have been a step in this direction. We have all toured the state during elections and can say, without any hesitation, that we are set to win most of the seats in the state. Such has been the public response in favour of the Mahagathbandhan, he said.

The NDA, therefore, seems to have devised a plan to demoralize the opposition cadres so that the rigged results could later be justified. We are dealing with people who are in power but have no scruples. All mahagathbandhan workers are,therefore, urged to keep round the clock vigil at counting centres and stand their ground if they find anything amiss during the counting of votes,the RLSP chiefwho is contesting from his sitting seat of Karakat, besides Ujiyarpur said.

In moments of desperation people pick up arms. The NDA must take care that things do not reach a flashpoint. Otherwise, we will not be responsible for the consequences, he added.

The RLSP chief, whose views were echoed by other alliance partners present at the press conference, also expressed concern over reports, in a section of the media, of EVMs being transported a day after polling was over in several parts of the country, including Saran district in Bihar.

Former Chief Minister and RJD leader Rabri Devi, who was not present at the press conference, also issued a statement questioning discovery of EVMs outside the strong rooms in several parts of the state and sought to know where were these kept and where were these being taken to and for what purpose.

The Election Commission here has issued a release denying these reports and asserting the EVMs at Saran were meant for training the personnel involved in counting. These were not from among the polled machines kept at the strong room.

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