Rebel BJP MLA says party ministers hacked EVMs to win polls, BJP rubbishes claims

Rebel BJP MLA says party ministers hacked EVMs to win polls, BJP rubbishes claims
Gote questioned how BJP minister Girish Mahajan was able to predict the exact number of seats the party will win in every district he oversaw

BJP MLA Anil Gote on Saturday alleged some state ministers belonging to the party had got EVMs “hacked” to win the recent local body polls, a charge denied by the BJP.

The rebel MLA, who represents Dhule in Maharashtra Assembly, recently announced his decision to quit the BJP as he was unhappy with the party’s choice of candidates for civic polls. He contested the polls under his own banner, but only won one seat.

Gote made the allegations during a press conference, during which he also stated that he had approached the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay HC on the alleged hacking issue.

The MLA questioned how every district BJP minister Girish Mahajan was given the responsibility of – like Dhule, Jamner, & Jalgaon – the party won exactly the same number of seats as predicted by the minister. He also questioned the role of two other ministers.

Gote alleged that some leaders in the BJP had managed to deploy people to “hack” EVMs. He further claimed that some of his party workers had got in touch with an “agent of one of these hackers” and had recorded the telephonic conversations.

BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari refuted Gote’s allegations.

“We do not even know if EVMs can be hacked. The BJP has neither hacked the machines nor believes in doing anything against the spirit of democracy,” Bhandari was quoted as saying.

Several opposition parties accused the BJP of hacking EVMs amid a slew of landslides victories since coming into power in 2014. The accusation, however, took a backseat after the ruling party’s disappointing performance in the recent Assembly Elections.

Gote had won the 2009 Assembly election from Dhule as an Independent and joined the BJP ahead of the 2014 state polls.

He was earlier arrested in connection with the multi-crore stamp paper scam, in which he has denied any involvement, and is currently out on bail.

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