Centre sounds nationwide alert about violence on counting day tomorrow

The Home Ministry today put out a nation-wide alert to states about possible eruption of violence in different parts of the country in connection with the counting of votes.

The Centre’s advisory comes just a day after former union minister Upendra Kushwaha threatened of bloodshed in Bihar if any attempt is made to steal “the peoples’ votes”. Ram Vilas Paswan, the union minister and the BJP ally in Bihar, had responded to Kushwaha’s warning of bloodshed. Paswan, who spoke after the dinner for NDA allies hosted by BJP chief Amit Shah, declared that “there will be a tit for tat”.

“The Home ministry has asked states and union territories to maintain law and order, peace and public tranquility and take adequate measures for the security of strong rooms and venues of counting of votes,” a Home Ministry statement said.

The Home Ministry did not spell out the statements that had provoked the advisory ahead of counting of votes but said the alert had been sounded “in the wake of calls given and statements made in various quarters” for inciting violence and causing disruption on the day of counting of votes.

The Centre’s unusual advisory comes against the backdrop of a sharp campaign by opposition parties against the Election Commission who they accuse of interpreting the law and rules in favour of the ruling alliance.

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