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Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019

Maha polls: Install network jammers near EVM strongrooms, say Cong-NCP

cities Updated: Oct 23, 2019 01:12 IST
Hindustantimes
         

The Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have demanded installation of network jammers outside the strongrooms where EVMs and VVPATs have been kept to weed out any possibility of tampering.

The Congress has also demanded verification of 50% of EVMs against slips from VVPATs for more transparency. The Assembly poll results will be announced on October 24.

Maharashtra Congress president Balasaheb Thorat has written to the chief electoral officer, requesting for more stringent measures.

“A large section of society feels the EVMs can be tampered with leading to the threat to the democracy. To ensure free and fair elections, installation of the network jammers is necessary in and around strong rooms before and during counting process. This would weed out the possibility of tampering through wireless networks like mobile towers, wi-Fi networks etc. We also request you to grant our candidates liberty to select the EVMs to be tested against the VVPATs,” he has stated in the letter. The NCP, too, has made a similar demand.

The Congress has also demanded the agencies announcing exit polls give booth-wise and constituency-wise break-up. “There is unhappiness among citizens over the way the exit polls are announced. We suspect the exit polls are an exercise to help people accept results favourable to the ruling parties. The agencies conducting the polls should give the findings in greater detail to maintain transparency,” said Sachin Sawant, general secretary and spokesperson of Congress.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission has initiated action against a person who cried foul at an EVM at Navalewadi in Khatav in Satara district. A worker of a political party had made oral complaint that votes were being cast in favour of the BJP even after other buttons were pressed. The EC has, however, clarified that there was no discrepancy.

“The complainant refused to file a written complaint. He later spoke to TV channels about malfunctioning of the machine. The machine was checked in front of polling agents of all political parties during the mock poll conducted before the actual polling. We are now taking action against the voter,” said Dilip Shinde, additional chief electoral officer, Maharashtra.