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Gujarat polls: Ahead of counting, Hardik Patel claims BJP-hired engineers may 'hack' EVMs; Ahmedabad collector rubbishes charges

Just a day ahead of the counting of votes for the Gujarat Assembly election, Patidar leader Hardik Patel alleged that BJP has hired 140 software engineers to hack over 5,000 EVM machines during counting of votes. The Patidar leader alleged that BJP will try to hack the source code of EVMs to manipulate the result.

In a series of tweets, Hardik, who had urged members of his community to vote against BJP during the election campaigning, said on Sunday that EVM hacking may be witnessed in Patel and adivasi-dominated areas of Gujarat. Hardik also named the specific areas where EVMs could be tampered in Monday's counting of votes: Visnagar, Patan, Radhanpur, Tankara, Unja, Vav, Jetpur; three constituencies in Rajkot; Lathi, Babra, Chota Udaipur, Santrampur, Savli, Mangrol, Nandod, Rajpipla and Dabhoi.

The Patidar leader also urged people to not take his allegation lightly and added that if the human body can be manipulated, then a man-made machine can be manipulated too.

However, speaking to ANI, Ahmedabad collector Avantika Singh dismissed Hardik's charges. He said:

This is not the first time that Hardik made such a charge against BJP. On Saturday, Hardik claimed that BJP will deliberately lose in Himachal Pradesh and win in Gujarat, in order to show the world that everything is fine with the EVMs.

In Gujarat, BJP is seeking a sixth straight term in office while Congress is aiming to stage a comeback in power after being in the opposition for over two decades.

The results are expected to have a bearing on the 2019 parliamentary polls also as Modi had come to power in 2014, based on the Gujarat 'model of development'.

Meanwhile, in Himachal Pradesh, where counting of votes for the 68-member Assembly too will take place on Monday, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh seemed confident of a victory.

"I am confident that 'mission repeat' would be achieved and tall claims made by BJP would be proved wrong," he told reporters.

Singh said he visited every nook and corner of the state during the election campaign and has no doubt that Congress is in a strong position. "The Congress would certainly win for the government."

On the other hand, former chief minister and senior BJP leader Prem Kumar Dhumal was highly optimistic and said the results would be same as projected in the exit polls.

Talking to reporters at his Samirpur residence, Dhumal said that Congress was upset with the exit polls and was making vague statements. "In fact, BJP would win more seats than projected in exit-polls," he said.

Dhumal was declared the chief ministerial face of BJP towards the end of the campaign.

With inputs from agencies

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Published Date: Dec 17, 2017 17:17 PM | Updated Date: Dec 18, 2017 08:38 AM

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