A day before the counting of votes in urban local body polls in Uttar Pradesh, the Samajwadi Party on Friday alleged the election manual was amended recently, deleting from it portions related to declaration of votes received by candidates after every round of counting.
The party accused the BJP of hatching a "conspiracy" to "influence" the results in the local body polls and change the mandate of the people.
Manoj Pandey, the chief whip of the SP in the Legislative Assembly, said that according to the election manual for local body polls, there is a provision of writing on a blackboard the details of valid votes obtained by a candidate, invalid votes and the total votes polled on a blackboard after every round of counting.
Besides, they have to immediately declare these details, feed the data online and also announce the same through public address system, he said.
Apart from this, there is a provision of announcing the results after every two hours, he said.
But these provision were "missing" from the manual after an amendment was issued on April 15, 2023 "which is not appropriate, and it raises doubts", he said.
He also alleged that the BJP government in order to slow the voting process, intimidated the voters, misbehaved with the SP workers, and did not allow the voters to leave their house.
He also alleged that a conspiracy has been hatched by the BJP to destroy the democratic system by misusing the administration.
SP's state unit president Naresh Uttam Patel claimed that it was observed that the voters' mood was against the BJP government throughout the campaign period. "A number of ministers of the BJP government and party leaders indulged in misleading (poll) campaigns ('bhraamak prachaar'). The BJP is trying to show that in the urban local bodies' elections, people are not liking the Samajwadi Party. The BJP has cheated the people," he said.
In a statement issued by the party, Uttam also said, "After lagging behind in the first phase, a strategy was made (by the ruling party) to influence the voting process by reducing the polling percentage itself."
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