The Election Commission has termed as ‘baseless’ the allegations of EVM manipulation by the opposition parties after videos went viral purportedly showing EVMs being transported in open trucks.
“The aspersions in clips being used in media merely pertain to the storage or movement of reserve unused EVMs. However, any case of lapse even in handling of reserve EVMs is thoroughly investigated and disciplinary action taken against the officers responsible,” the poll panel was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
EC: Complaints of alleged movement of EVMs, purportedly to replace polled EVMs in strongrooms, doing rounds in sections of media. Would like to unambiguously clarify that reports are absolutely false. Visuals seen viral on media do not pertain to any EVMs used during the polls. pic.twitter.com/i1K3HbFL8U— ANI (@ANI) May 21, 2019
The EC said the voting machines are stored in proper security and protocol in the presence of candidates of the political parties.
The allegations were raised after a video, claimed to be of Chandauli Lok Sabha constituency in Uttar Pradesh, shows EVMs apparently being off-loaded and purportedly placed inside a room. The clip shows some people, apparently supporters of Samajwadi Party, questioning it.
Meanwhile, as many as 22 opposition parties submitted a memorandum before the Election Commission, demanding matching of VVPAT slips with EVM figures prior to counting of votes on May 23.
The opposition requested that the verification of VVPAT slips of randomly identified five polling stations be done prior to the initiation of counting of votes and not after the completion of last round of counting.
In the memorandum, the opposition leaders have also demanded that if any discrepancy is found anywhere during the VVPAT verification, 100 per cent counting of paper slips of VVPATs of all polling stations of that assembly segment should be done.
The Opposition's move came after the Supreme Court earlier today dismissed a PIL seeking 100 per cent matching of Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slips with Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) during the counting of votes on May 23 for Lok Sabha polls.
The Supreme Court has asked the EC to tally the VVPAT slips with the EVM figures of five polling stations in each Assembly constituency across the country, which may delay the results.