Famers’ leader and former MP Raju Shetti has claimed that electronic voting machines (EVMs) were tampered with during the Lok Sabha elections, leading to his defeat.
In a letter to the Election Commission (EC), Shetti has complained about alleged discrepancies in the final tally of votes cast versus votes counted for Hatkanangale Lok Sabha seat. While Shetti had won the seat in the 2009 and 2014 Lok Sabha polls, he lost to Shiv Sena’s Dhairyasheel Mane this time.
In a statement to the media, Shetti said he became suspicious a day before the counting of votes, when “mysterious WiFi signals were detected near the storehouse of EVMs”. “The signals were named after the six Assembly segments. The returning officer had assured us that no such signal would be available in the area. Our request for jammers within the storehouse area was denied as the EC had not issued any guidelines about it,” he said.
Shetti, the Swabhimani Paksha chief, claimed that the signals were detected in the evening but “mysteriously vanished” later.
He claimed that in the last one week, since the Lok Sabha election results were announced, thousands of people had met him. “Looking at their faces, I could see that their statement about voting for me was not incorrect,” he said.
Shetti claimed that his suspicions were confirmed when he noticed “discrepancies in the final tally of votes cast versus votes counted by the EC”. “Its report showed that they had counted around 469 votes more… Postal votes were accounted for separately, so this discrepancy could not be explained,” he said.
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