New Delhi: Just a day ahead of the Assembly elections 2018 results, the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) in Madhya Pradesh on Monday directed that there will be no webcasting during the counting of votes. Madhya Pradesh went to polls on November 28 while the counting of votes will take place on December 11.
The officer has also directed that Wifi will not be used in the counting hall and CCTV cameras will be installed, news agency ANI further reported.
The moves come after the Congress party delegation, led by senior leaders Kamal Nath and Kapil Sibal, had visited the Election Commission and highlighted the issue of alleged faults in EVMs. After the meeting, Nath said that in most districts of Madhya Pradesh, the party has received complaints about EVM faults and alleged that some of these machines were found in hotels. He had demanded that the officials concerned should be suspended and barred from the counting process.
On Sunday, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had also asserted that Congress is distressed and that is why it is creating a hue and cry over EVM malfunctioning and several other baseless issues.
Speaking to media, Chouhan had said, “The BJP is going to form the government. Congress is distressed and that’s why they are speaking many unreasonable things. They first raised suspicion on EVMs and even doubted Election Commission. They will try to create obstacles at the time of counting too. Hence, State BJP chief Rakesh Singh has discussed this with district president, a district in charges, assembly candidates and MPs.”
In Madhya Pradesh, the majority mark is 116 for the 230-seat Assembly. Of the many exit polls, some have given the BJP a majority; others have easily predicted the Congress crossing the majority mark or being a few seats less. Even so, the difference in the number of seats predicted for the two parties isn’t too big.
The tenure of the 230-member state Assembly ends on January 7, 2019. The BJP has been in power in the state since 2003 and is seeking a fourth straight term.
The Assembly polls, considered the bellwether for 2019 Lok Sabha elections, will decide the fate of the BJP’s three most prominent chief ministers: Raman Singh, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, and Vasundhara Raje.
The BJP, under Chouhan’s leadership, cannot afford to lose the crucial state to the Congress just six months before the Lok Sabha General Elections 2019. In the current Lok Sabha, the BJP holds 28 seats from Madhya Pradesh against Congress’ three. For both the BJP and the Congress, Madhya Pradesh is a crucial state to gain strength in the Lok Sabha.