Former BJP MLA Anil Gote, the Independent candidate from Maharashtra’s Dhule Assembly seat, spent the night outside the EVM strong room in his segment, claiming he was guarding the facility to avoid any misuse of the voting machines ahead of counting on Thursday.

Counting of votes for all 288 Assembly elections and Satara Lok Sabha bypoll began at 8 am on Thursday.

Gote in the morning said he chose to stay awake throughout the night outside the EVM strong rooms in Dhule along with some of his supporters.

He won the 2014 Assembly polls from Dhule city on BJP’s ticket, but this time the constituency was given to ally Shiv Sena as part of the seat-sharing formula.

The opposition Congress, NCP and some other parties have been raising suspicion over the functioning of the electronic voting machines (EVMs), alleging that they were tampered with at some places.

The Congress’ demand for installing mobile phone jammers outside the strong rooms housing the EVMs in the state was earlier refused by the Election Commission.