Amethi/Rae Bareli, May 22 (IANS) In the high-profile Lok Sabha seats of Amethi and Rae Bareli, represented by Congress President Rahul Gandhi and his mother and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi respectively, the party workers have been guarding the strong rooms since May 6, the day when the voting ended.
Congress leaders said the Seva Dal workers of the party have been sitting outside the strong rooms in both the Lok Sabha constituencies to safeguard the electronic voting machines.
Congress Amethi district chief Yogendra Mishra told IANS, “The Seva Dal workers have been sitting outside the strong room since May 6.”
He said a group of at least five Seva Dal members takes turns round the clock for their “duty”.
“Besides the Seva Dal workers, we have got passes issued for nine party workers who enter the strong room for 30 minutes and look after the EVMs,” he said.
“We are also doing videography and photography of the vehicles and the people visiting the strong room,” Mishra said.
The EVMs in Amethi have been stored at Indira Gandhi Degree college.
From Amethi, Rahul Gandhi faces Union minister and BJP leader Smriti Irani, who is re-contesting from the parliamentary constituency.
Rahul Gandhi, who has been representing Amethi since 2004, has remained undefeated from the seat. This year he is also contesting from Wayanad in Kerala.
However, his margin in 2014 came down as he got 1.07 lakh more votes than Irani.
Similarly, the Seva Dal workers of the party has been guarding the strong rooms since May 6. The EVM’s have been kept at the ITI college in Rae Bareli.
In Rae Bareli, Congress turncoat Dinesh Pratap Singh is pitted against Sonia Gandhi, who stayed away from campaigning citing ill-health this year.
In the absence of Sonia Gandhi her daughter and party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra visited Rae Bareli six times and campaigned.
During her visit to Rae Bareli, Priyanka Gandhi held closed-door meetings with the party workers of the assembly constituencies.
She also camped in the Lok Sabha constituency of her mother during her tour of Uttar Pradesh to ensure that voter-base of her party remains intact.
The guarding of the strong rooms in the election season gained momentum after many leaders complained of the new EVMs being brought to there.
On Monday night, Priyanka Gandhi appealed to the party workers to remain alert and vigil around the strong rooms.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday dubbed the exit polls as false and appealed to the party workers to remain alert near the EVM strong rooms.