BJP Tried to Manipulate DMs to Rig Elections in UP, Alleges Saket Gokhale While Citing Internal BJP Report

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NEW DELHI – In a scathing tweet, MP Saket Gokhale has accused the BJP of attempting to manipulate District Magistrates (DMs) to rig the 2024 Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh. Gokhale’s allegation comes in response to an internal BJP report that cited “lack of support from DMs” as a reason for the party’s poor performance in the state.

Sharing the print report titled “Lack of support from MLAs, ministers & DMs led to setback in Lok Sabha polls in UP, finds BJP task force,” Saket accused BJP of coercing DMs to manipulate the elections in their favour, Vartha Bharati reported.

Gokhale tweeted, “This is as brazen as it gets. An internal BJP report that was allegedly made to review the party’s loss in UP cites ‘lack of support from DMs’ as a reason. A DM is also known as the District Collector and is the Returning Officer for elections for that area. It is clear from this that the BJP openly tried to manipulate & coerce DMs to rig elections in their favor under the nose of the Modi-appointed Election Commission. And now, several DMs who didn’t ‘help’ the BJP during elections have been transferred. The fact that it went to the extent of pressuring DMs shows that the BJP is a gang of criminals who will do anything for power. And yet, despite openly trying to manipulate govt machinery during elections, Modi & BJP failed to get a majority.”

The BJP task force report, prepared by a team of 40 leaders, pointed to sabotage by BJP MLAs and ministers, a lack of synergy between the government and the party, non-cooperation from state government officials, and a disconnect between BJP candidates and voters. It cited these factors as key reasons for the party’s poor performance in Uttar Pradesh in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. The report was compiled based on visits to 78 of the state’s 80 Lok Sabha seats.

Following the report’s submission, Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath transferred 12 district magistrates of which 11 district magistrates were from constituencies where the BJP lost to the SP in the Lok Sabha polls. It is being alleged that these transfers were aimed at addressing the issues raised in the report, which included complaints from BJP local leaders that the administration did not support the party, created obstacles during polling, and humiliated BJP workers.

A senior BJP leader involved in the report noted, “In several places, party workers complained that BJP MLAs and ministers worked against the party. It’s surprising to see such a disconnect between the government and the party, with ministers undermining candidates. Even the indifferent attitude of the bureaucracy in several places cannot be taken lightly.”

In the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP’s tally in UP fell to 33 from 62 in 2019, with a 7 percent drop in its vote share.

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