What’s the basis of your concern, impending defeat? CM to Virbhadra
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A day after state Congress president Virbhadra Singh raised concerns on the security of the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal on Monday demanded to know the basis of the former chief minister's 'unwarranted fears' and wondered if it all had to do with the Congress apprehending defeat in the Assembly polls.
Expressing surprise over Virbhadra's statement, the chief minister reminded him of the procedure and the measures adopted by the Election Commission for the safety the EVMS. "It appears that Virbhadra Singh is not aware of the factual position and the press note issued to the media in his absence might not be in his knowledge," Dhumal said in a strongly worded statement here.
The chief minister added that unlike Virbhadra, he had the greatest respect for constitutional authorities and never questioned their integrity. "The entire process is being looked after by the EC and elaborate security arrangements have been made by providing CCTV and deployment of para military forces to guard the strong rooms. The BJP has full faith in the EC security arrangements and state government has also provided security cover as per the demand of the Election Commission to ensure full proof security of the EVM strong rooms round the clock," Dhumal said. He accused the Congress chief of adopting contradictory stands on the issue: by claiming to be satisfied with the security arrangements and then raising fingers on the same issue.
"It appears that Singh, apprehending defeat, is making such baseless statements. He ( Singh) had earlier also questioned the functioning of the EC in 1998 and 2007. He should remember that earlier also counting of votes in the state had also taken some time during the last assembly elections."
The chief minister also took strong notice of Virbhadra Singh's statement criticising him and his ministers for using official vehicles and inaugurating fairs in the state. Dhumal said all such activities was being carried out with the prior permission of the EC as the "BJP has never used such platforms to fulfil political ambitions and has always adhered to Model Code of Conduct."