Seized VVPAT machines not related to polls: CEO

The officials had seized the machines from a roadside shed on the national highway at Managuli village, Basavana Bagewadi taluk in Vijayapura district.  DH photo

Chief Electoral Officer Sanjiv Kumar on Monday said the eight VVPAT machines seized by officials had nothing to do with the just-concluded elections.

The officials had seized the machines from a roadside shed on the national highway at Managuli village, Basavana Bagewadi taluk in Vijayapura district. This has been certified by the regional and district election officials in writing also, Kumar told reporters. The election officials submitted a written statement on Sunday night, stating that all 2,744 VVPATs allotted to Vijayapura district were safe in the strong room and were not damaged, Kumar said.

“All VVPAT machines used by the EC have a unique six-digit alphanumeric code (one alphabet and six numbers), which are always kept track of. But the boxes of the machines seized do not have the codes. A case has been registered with the police,” he said. Kumar, however, said the possibility of a conspiracy could not be ruled out. He said the only manufacturing company of VVPATs for the EC is in Gujarat. “It seems like someone is trying to malign the system,” Kumar said.

“The seized VVPAT boxes are new and it is possible that someone brought them and kept them in the shed. It also needs to be verified if they were brought directly from Gujarat or anywhere else. The quality of these boxes is similar to the ones used by the EC, but there is no barcoding on them. Though no one can duplicate the machines used by the EC, all angles are being probed,” he said. 

Earlier too, fake VVPAT machines were seized in Bagalkot. In another case, 10,000 postal ballots were seized from the room of a hotel in Bagalkot.

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Seized VVPAT machines not related to polls: CEO

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