Citing alleged violations of the Model Code of Conduct in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, the Chhattisgarh Congress has approached the Bilaspur High Court seeking directions to the Election Commission of India for strengthening of security outside strongrooms, constant CCTV and LED video feed and tallying of at least 50 per cent of votes through VVPATs when counting takes place on December 11.
The petition, which says that “recent developments in the state of Chhattisgarh have cast a shadow of doubt on the integrity of EVMs and the security of election strongrooms”, will be heard by the High Court on December 10, a day before counting.
The Congress, through its general secretary Girish Dewangan who filed the petition, has alleged repeated violations of the Model Code of Conduct such as the entry of the tehsildar and two other persons into the strongrooms at Dhamtari district for three hours, CCTV malfunction in Durg district, and reports of the Chief Minister meeting District Collectors between November 6 and 11, when the code was in effect.
On Thursday, Congress state president Bhupesh Baghel tweeted that at least two collectors, including the Raipur Collector, had again met the Chief Minister.
The petition also states that the security around strongrooms was often found wanting with the presence of “unauthorised personnel” and the use of “mobile phones” and “electronic devices” by district collectors in and around the strongrooms. The petition also refers to allegations of election officials staying in Raj Mahal Hotel in Shujapur in Madhya Pradesh “along with EVM and VVPAT machines”.