Sharply attacking the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP amid the counting of the votes in Uttar Pradesh, the Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Naresh Uttam Patel said that the ruling party is "ruining democracy as incidents of mishandling of ballot papers and electronic voting machines (EVMs) are being reported".
He said that people have decided to reject the BJP's lies in the state.
"The BJP is ruining democracy. Somewhere ballot papers are being caught while at other places the EVMs are being found (suspicious movement of EVMs). People have made up their minds to demolish the BJP's untruths and lies this time," Patel told ANI.
Earlier on Thursday, the SP chief Akhilesh Yadav had also alleged "tampering with electronic voting machines", saying the BJP was scared as his party was winning the Ayodhya Assembly seat. He had urged the Election Commission to look into the incidents of the mishandling of the EVMs.
"Exit polls want to create a perception that the BJP is winning. This is the last fight for democracy. The EVM is being transported without informing the candidates. We need to be alert if EVMs are being transported in such ways. This is theft. We need to save our votes. We may go to court but before that, I want to appeal to people to save the democracy," he said.
The counting began at 8 am today morning and will continue till its completion.
The electorally-crucial state witnessed a multi-cornered contest with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Samajwadi Party (SP), Congress, and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) vying for the popular mandate.
In the 403-member Uttar Pradesh Assembly, the magic figure is 202 and the exit polls have predicted the BJP victory, retaining power in the state with its allies, which will be an unprecedented second term. However, pollsters have also predicted that the BJP's tally would be less than its strength after the 2017 elections. The SP which fought the polls in alliance with the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) and some other parties would improve its performance, the exit polls predicted.
Assembly elections were held in Uttar Pradesh from February 10 to March 7 in seven phases to elect 403 members of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly.