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Defeated, Cong targets EVMs after ULB gains

Last Updated : 01 June 2019, 11:40 IST

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The Congress has again raised questions over electronic voting machines (EVM) after the party won the highest number of seats in the Urban Local Bodies (ULB) elections, whose results were announced Friday.

The ULB results, in which EVMs were used without Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT), come just days after the Lok Sabha election results were announced that saw the BJP sweeping Karnataka by winning 25 out of 28 seats.

“I’m surprised looking at the ULB election results and the Lok Sabha results,” Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Dinesh Gundu Rao said. “There are reports coming now that there’s a mismatch between votes polled on the EVMs and the votes that were counted during the Lok Sabha election. The difference is in the range of thousands of votes. The Election Commission is yet to clarify,” he said.

Voting for the Lok Sabha election was held on April 18 and April 23, whereas 61 ULBs went to polls about a month later, on May 29. “We’ll have to look deeper into the difference in voting in such a short span of time,” Rao said.

Citing the example of the Dakshina Kannada district, Rao pointed out that the Congress and the BJP were almost equal in the number of seats they won in the Moodbidri Town Municipal Council. But then, the BJP lost in the Mulki Town Panchayat while winning the Sulya Town Panchayat decisively. “Just recently, there was supposedly a BJP wave here. How did we defeat them now?”

Congress MLC Rizwan Arshad, who lost from the Bangalore Central Lok Sabha segment, concurred. “Considering that local body polling was immediately after the Lok Sabha results, the disparity in results is inexplicable. Or, were there other factors at play in Lok Sabha?” he asked in a tweet.

The 1,221 wards across the city municipal councils, town municipal councils and 22 town panchayats are spread across 21 districts. District-wise data shows that the Congress won more number of seats in 11 districts, whereas the BJP won more seats in just four. In Bidar, for instance, which had the highest number of ULB wards at 128, the BJP won 31 while the Congress bagged 75.

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Published 31 May 2019, 16:52 IST

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