Dalits were stopped from voting by police during first phase of polling in UP, BSP writes to EC

New Delhi: Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) on Friday complained to the Election Commission of India (ECI) alleging malfunctioning of electronic voting machines (EVMs).

The party also alleged that voters from the Dalit community were stopped from voting by the police.

In a letter to Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora, BSP general secretary Satish Chandra Mishra said: “During the first phase of voting, malfunctioning of EVMs were reported from several booths.”

“Buttons were pressed in front of the elephant (BSP symbol) but votes were being cast in favour of the BJP.”

“Similarly, at several places police forcibly stopped people, especially from the Dalit community from reaching the polling stations,” Mishra said.

The BSP general secretary alleged that administration and police officials were immediately informed about the same but no action was taken.

“There is a general discussion going on in Uttar Pradesh that the police and district administration have been told to deploy heavy police force in the area with a considerable number of people from Scheduled Castes to stop them from voting. The DGP office has been given the responsibility for the same,” Mishra said.

“The rights given to Dalits by Dr Ambedkar through the Constitution are being taken away,” he said.
The BSP general secretary also said that the ongoing Lok Sabha polls will lose its meaning if strict action is not taken.

“So, it is requested that the Chief Election Commissioner and administration of Uttar Pradesh should be given proper instructions to conduct free-and-fair polls in the state. It is also requested to take necessary action against the concerned officials,” Mishra said in the letter.

The first phase of Lok Sabha polls was held on April 11 for the eight Lok Sabha constituencies of Uttar Pradesh. The results will be announced on May 23.