Former BJP leader Kirti Azad who recently joined Congress has stirred up a controversy while addressing Congress workers in his constituency in Darbhanga, Bihar by claiming that Congress workers had captured booths for him in 1999.
Azad was addressing Congress workers during his welcome ceremony in Darbhanga for the first time after joining Congress Party. He claimed that Congress workers used to capture booths for Nagendra Jha and Jagannath Mishra. “Congress parivar ke sadasya booth loota karte the Nagendra Baba (Nagendra Jha) ke liye aur Dr Sahab (Jagannath Mishra) ke liye“, said Azad. “Mere Pita Ji ke liye bhi booth loota jata tha”, Azad added. He said booth capturing was possible in those days but now it is not possible due to the shift from paper ballots to EVMs. He further claimed that booth capturing was done for him in 1999 as well because there was no Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) at that time.
Azad had been three-time Member of Parliament from Darbhanga. He was suspended from the BJP in 2015 after he made statements about there being corruption in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) when it was headed by Union Minister Arun Jaitley. Azad joined the Congress Party on Monday. Azad had termed his joining the Congress as ‘Ghar Vapasi’ alleging that his complaints about corruption in DDCA were not heard by anyone.
Before the introduction of EVMs in elections in India, large scale booth capturing, manipulation of ballot boxes etc were common incidents during elections. These activities have become impossible with EVMs, but many opposition parties including the Congress party has been demanding a return to the ballot paper system for voting.