New Delhi, May 22, 2019 : There could be attempts to trigger violence during the counting of votes tomorrow for the Lok Sabha elections, the Home Ministry warned today, sending out alerts to chief secretaries and police chiefs of all states. The ministry said it has asked states and union territories to be on guard after "calls given in various quarters" for sparking violence and disrupting counting, NDTV reported.
The ministry said the states and union territories have asked to take adequate measures for the security of strong-rooms, where electronic voting machines (EVMs) are kept, and venues of counting of votes.
The central security agencies have received inputs that some organisations and individuals, particularly in the states of Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar and Tripura, have given certain statements which may lead to violence and disruption in counting process, an official said.
Lok Sabha elections were held in seven phases from April 11 to May 19. Counting will take place tomorrow. Though the elections were largely peaceful and saw around 67 per cent turnout from the over 90-crore electorate, incidents of violence had been reported in several areas.
Political parties opposed to the BJP have alleged tampering of voting machines and intimidation of election officials in several areas.
Yesterday, Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) leader and former union minister Upendra Kushwaha, who joined the opposition ranks before elections, warned of violent reprisals from the public if the ruling BJP and its allies try to manipulate voting machines in their favour.
Any attempt by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to "loot votes" would result in tremendous public anger and blood spilling onto the streets, news agency PTI quoted him as saying.
Opposition parties in several states are keeping a round-the-clock vigil on the storage rooms where the voting machines are kept in high security, ahead of the counting of votes in the national election. It came amid complaints of alleged tampering of EVMs and protests in Uttar Pradesh after videos of alleged movement and tampering of voting machines.