Mumbai Congress raises doubts over safety of EVMs, complains about suspicious presence near strongrooms
Cong’s city chief writes to electoral officer, says workers have raised concerns about unidentified people near strongrooms; EC rules out tampering
Congress’s city president Milind Deora has written to the chief electoral officer of Maharashtra, raising doubts about the safety of the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) stored in counting centres across the city. Ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections counting day on Thursday, Deora has called for security and vigilance to be beefed up to avoid any tampering.
He has also demanded the poll commission to allow party workers to monitor counting centres and share passwords of the CCTV network inside the strong room.
Deora, in his letter written on Tuesday, said party workers have raised concerns about the suspicious presence of unidentified people and vehicles around strongrooms, where the EVMs have been stored. “Such movement has raised serious concerns about the safety and security of EVMs. To avoid any type of tampering, you are requested to increase the vigilance at these centres to ensure free and fair results,” he has stated.
Election commission, however, has ruled out any such possibility of tampering.
“Due security has been provided at strongrooms. We have received the letter from the Mumbai Congress chief and everything related to security is being done according to the standing guidelines of the Election Commission of India (ECI),” said Dilip Shinde, additional chief electoral officer of Maharashtra.
Shinde said party workers are allowed to stay at designated areas at the counting centres, as per the ECI guidelines.
According to officials from the state poll body, every strongroom is manned by 250 security personnel in three tiers. The first tier is manned by the Central Industrial Security Force, while the middle layer is by State Reserve Police Force and the outer tier is by the local police.