A day after polling concluded for the 20 Lok Sabha seats in Kerala, the Congress on Saturday alleged that voters were harassed and the election machinery was hijacked by the ruling CPI(M) in the state with an aim to bring down the turnout percentage.

The Congress was also confident of a good show in the phase two polls held in 13 states for 88 Lok Sabha seats, saying that the artificial hype created by Narendra Modi of a pro-BJP wave has been demolished.

AICC general secretary K C Venugopal said that post the first two phases of polling in the country, the Congress workers of all the states, where elections were held, are confident of a good outcome.

"Even in Kerala we are confident of winning all 20 Lok Sabha seats," he said.

While exuding confidence about a good show in the polls held in the southern state, Venugopal said that the alleged hijacking of the election machinery by the ruling CPI(M) was one of the reasons for the decrease in polling percentage in Kerala this year as compared to the turnout in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Despite heightened political fervour and anticipation about the general elections for the 20 Lok Sabha seats in Kerala, the process concluded with a notable decrease in voter turnout, as the figure stood at 70.22 per cent at 8pm yesterday.

This figure, while significant, was quite a drop from the polling percentage of 77.84 per cent registered in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Venugopal claimed that there were glitches in electronic voting machines (EVMs) in three to five per cent of the polling booths in the state that lead to long delays in the election process which in turn caused discomfort to the voters who had to stand in long queues for hours in the intense heat.

The senior Congress leader, speaking at a press conference here, alleged that 90 per cent of such EVM glitches occurred in booths where the UDF was strong.

"It was a polling process that harassed voters as no drinking water, sitting or lighting facilities were available in the booths where people waited for hours to vote due to the EVM glitches.

"The election machinery was completely hijacked by the CPI(M) with the aim of bringing down the polling percentage," he alleged.

He also alleged that thousands of genuine voters were removed from the voter list by the election officials.

Besides that, the Congress leader further alleged that there was large-scale bogus voting in several parts of the state and UDF leaders and workers who questioned it were attacked by Left activists.

Venugopal, who contested from the Alappuzha Lok Sabha seat, said that despite such alleged moves by the ruling Left party, the pro-UDF wave and the anti-incumbency sentiment against the state and central governments will ensure that the LDF and the BJP-led NDA do not win any seats in Kerala.

"Therefore, their (CPIM) calculations have gone wrong," he said.

He also said that the Congress will be carrying out an analysis of the polling process carried out in the state and based on the outcome requisite legal steps would be initiated.

Venugopal also referred to the ongoing controversy over the accusations levelled by political opponents about senior CPI(M) leader E P Jayarajan's alleged plans to join the BJP that has kicked off a political storm in the state.

The Congress leader said that on Friday, Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan had defended Jayarajan's meeting with BJP leader Prakash Javadekar at the CPI(M) leader's son's home.

Responding to media reports that Jayarajan had admitted to meeting Javadekar, Vijayan had said there was nothing wrong with it.

The CM had also said that even he himself had talked to Javadekar recently ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

At the same time, Vijayan had also cautioned his party colleague to be vigilant in his associations.

"Today they (the CPIM) are saying that it (the meeting) was wrong. So, if Jayarajan was wrong in meeting Javadekar, then the CM was also wrong," Venugopal said and alleged that it all indicated that there was a "clear cut deal" between the Left party and the BJP.

He said that when the deal was revealed, Jayarajan was being made the sacrificial lamb now.

The Congress leader further alleged that the aim of both the CPI(M) in Kerala and the BJP was to destroy the Congress.

"However, our first and foremost agenda is to bring down the BJP government at the Centre. The CPI(M) is with us on that agenda everywhere except in Kerala," Venugopal said.