HYDERABAD: In light of finding Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPATs) machines empty, without VVPAT slips, at Jubilee Hills Assembly constituency, the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) Wednesday demanded the Chief Electoral Officer of Telangana check each and every Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) and VVPATs in the presence of political party representatives.
The empty VVPATs came to light when the representatives of the Congress party came to GHMC warehouse at Chudi Bazar to observe the sealing of strong rooms. TPCC member and Election Commission Coordination Committee, P Rajesh Kumar found that VVPATs of Jubilee Hills Assembly Constituency were unsealed and no slips were found.
According to ECI rules, the seals of EVMs and VVPATs should be intact for at least 45 days which is the period of filing Election Petition, the Congress Party has serious doubts that similar irregularities could have happened in other Assembly constituencies too, TPCC Convener, G Niranjan said.
He demanded the ECI to check each and every EVM and VVPAT in the presence of all political party representatives. P Vishnuvardhan Reddy, the Congress candidate from Jubilee Hills, alleged that EVMs and VVPATs have been tampered at the behest TRS party orders and demanded a re-poll in Jubilee Hills. The Congress leaders staged a protest and raised slogans against elections officials.
Hyderabad District Election officer, M Dana Kishore said that all the EVMs and VVPATs from different counting centres for 15 Assembly constituencies of Hyderabad District have been brought to Chudi Bazar warehouse for storing them and asked all the political parties to check the procedures.
Dana Kishore said that the ROs of Jubilee Hills and Secunderabad, after completion of the counting process, have removed the slips from the VVPAT boxes and sealed them in black cover and sent them in the trunk box. As per the rules, the slips should remain inside VVPAT boxes.He added that the ROs have been asked to give an explanation report in this regard and also discuss the issue with Chief Electoral Officer of Telangana, Rajat Kumar.
Strict action to be taken if lapses found
According to GHMC commissioner Dana Kishore, the Returning Officers have been asked to give an explanation report in this regard and also to discuss the issue with Chief Electoral Officer of Telangana Rajat Kumar. If any lapse is found, strict action would be taken against the erring officials, Dana Kishore added