Congress takes EVM concerns to EC

Party leaders Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Vivek Tankha and Panna Lal Punia met Chief Election Commissioner O P Rawat and also flagged concern over the counting process in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, and the alleged deletion of voters in Uttar Pradesh. (PTI Photo)

Senior Congress leaders on Saturday moved the Election Commission to voice concern over the security of electronic voting machines inside strong rooms in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

Party leaders Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Vivek Tankha and Panna Lal Punia met Chief Election Commissioner O P Rawat and also flagged concern over the counting process in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, and the alleged deletion of voters in Uttar Pradesh.

Punia claimed that suspicious activities were being reported in the Dhamtari Assembly seat in Chhatisgarh where people with laptops and mobile phones were seen around the strong rooms in which EVMs were kept after the voting. The intruders claimed they were there to repair CCTVs.

The party has also lodged a complaint with the Chief Electoral Officer in Raipur regarding this, Punia said.

Congress MP Vivek Tankha claimed there was no electricity in a strong room in Madhya Pradesh's Bhopal city for over an hour during which the CCTV cameras had also stopped functioning.

Home minister suspect

He also claimed that 48 hours after the closing of polls in the state, a school bus bearing no number plate and carrying EVMs had reached the Sagar district collector's office.

“The objective of this was ostensibly to deposit these machines with the office of the collector. These spare EVMs were to be deposited two hours after the polls and not after two days. This happened in the Khuria seat from where the state home minister is contesting the polls,” Tankha told reporters.

However, Madhya Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) V L Kantha Rao made it clear that the EVM referred to by Congress leaders were kept as 'Reserve' at some police stations. He said these EVMs were to be used as replacement for malfunctioning machines during the poll.

“Such machines were to be stored separately from polled EVMs. Strong rooms having polled EVMs were neither opened nor were supposed to be opened,” Kantha Rao said.

Names deleted

Senior Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi alleged that in Uttar Pradesh's Saharanpur district there were discrepancies such as erroneous deletion of names of voters in booth number 44.

He said glaring anomalies were found in 98 of the 100 forms in this booth and names of people of a particular community were being deleted so they could not vote against the ruling party.

“The Election Commission has assured us that they will look into it,” Singhvi said.

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Congress takes EVM concerns to EC

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