In a statement that could stoke controversy, Rashtriya Lok Samta Dal (RLSP) chief Upendra Kushwaha Tuesday urged the people of Bihar and mahagathbandhan allies to protect their vote even if it takes to pick up weapons, ANI reported. Kushwaha’s remarks were in regard to the videos of EVMs being allegedly transported and stored in unauthorised vehicles that emerged online on Tuesday.
Recalling the times when booth capturing incidents used to be common in the state, Kushwaha said, “Today the booth capturing does not take place but there are efforts being made to loot the election results. If an attempt like this is made this time, then I urge the people of Bihar and mahagathbandhan to even pick up weapons to protect their votes.”
Upendra Kushwaha, RLSP in Patna: Vote ki raksha ke liye zaroorat pade toh hathiyaar bhi uthana ho toh uthaiye. Aaj jo result loot ki jo ghatna karne ki jo koshish ho rahi hai toh isko rokne ke liye hathiyaar bhi uthana ho toh uthana chahiye. #LokSabhaElections2019 pic.twitter.com/g29bsWGyre
— ANI (@ANI) May 21, 2019
“We have received news that a vehicle carrying EVMs was recovered and the officials there had no answer for that. Incidents like these create doubts in the people’s mind which is legitimate. There is anger among the people and the state and central government are responsible to handle it. If they won’t do it then the people and mahagathbandhan will not sit quietly,” he added.
Meanwhile, 22 opposition parties met the election commission Tuesday demanding tallying of VVPAT slips with EVM results. Their demand included the matching of at least 5 EVMs with VVPAT in a constituency and if it does not match, then verify all EVMs at a constituency.
RLSP is a part of the Congress-RJD alliance in Bihar since it broke ties with BJP-JD(U) faction in 2018.