Lok Sabha elections 2019: AAP deploys 150 volunteers to ‘secure’ 70 EVM strong rooms
With elections to the seven Delhi Lok Sabha seats over, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has begun moving to “secure” the 70 strong rooms in the capital where the electronic voting machines (EVMs) are stored till Counting Day — May 23.
A senior AAP leader Tuesday said the party has selected nearly 150 volunteers for the purpose. “Starting today, highly skilled AAP volunteers will ensure safety of EVMs. They have already been deployed at the strong rooms and the counting stations,” he said.
According to the Election Commission of India, the strong rooms in Delhi have been provided with three-tier security.
“There are a total of 70 strong rooms in the national Capital – one in each assembly constituency (AC). In the three-tier safety net with the paramilitary force at the core and middle tiers, along with a Special Assault Team (SAT), and the outer layer will be guarded by the Delhi police,” a senior officer from the state election commission said.
For transparency with regard to EVM security, the election commission invited political parties to deploy their teams.
AAP’s South Delhi Lok Sabha candidate Raghav Chadha said the party has deployed a team of 20 volunteers there.
“In keeping with the spirit of democracy, a vigilance team of AAP volunteers has been deployed to ensure that other political parties are not able to engage in electoral malpractices. They have been especially trained to identify any signs of deviation from the said process,” he said. “We wish to ensure that the integrity, and the safety and security of the EVM is not compromised at any point in time.”
In East Delhi, from where the AAP had fielded Atishi, the party’s vigilance team was already on the job. “AAP volunteers led by campaign manager Anupam Kumar are rotating duties. The strong rooms for east Delhi are at Khel Gaon,” said Akshay Marathe, Atishi’s press secretary. “They will be closely watching the CCTV footage of the strong room to ensure no malpractices take place within the inner perimeter of the counting station. They will be making periodic inspections to verify the strong room security and will continue to stay on sight until counting is done.”
Delhi BJP’s media incharge Pratyush Kanth said the party has not yet deployed teams for this, but the process was on. “All the 14 district presidents of the BJP in Delhi have been asked to form teams to guard the strong rooms. They will be deployed in the coming days,” he said.
The Congress, however, won’t be sending their teams. “All this (questions over EVM security) used to happen in old times. Nowadays EC itself ensures that enough security personnel are present at the counting stations and the strong rooms to ensure free, fair and transparent counting,” said Jitendra Kochar, Delhi Congress spokesperson.