GHAZIPUR/JHANSI: Election Commission of India on Tuesday quashed allegations of discrepancies in handling and storage of EVMs in some districts of Uttar Pradesh, terming the claims baseless.
In Ghazipur parliamentary constituency, ECI said that there were issues regarding "candidates keeping a watch on polled EVM strong rooms ", which was resolved by conveying the poll commission's instructions.
Reiterating the same, Ghazipur district magistrate said that some candidates wanted more than the permissible number of people to keep watch on strong rooms, which was denied, thus leading to baseless allegations.
"The reports that candidates are being prohibited from keeping watch on EVM strong room are untrue. We are issuing passes to candidates to assign one of their representatives at vantage points near EVM strong rooms. Some candidates wanted more number of representatives to be near the strong room, permission for which was denied keeping in view the security of the area," K Balaji, DM, Ghazipur said.
In Jhansi, ECI refuted questions being raised on storage of EVMs and said that the machines are stored in proper security by following protocol, in the presence of candidates.
Truck full of EVM machines at ghazipur. BJP trying to change EVM machines @ECISVEEP @thewire_in @ndtv @ravishndtv @abhisar_sharma @RahulGandhi @ahmedpatel @yadavakhilesh @Mayawati pic.twitter.com/kAsM7aAopK— Shabnam Hashmi (@ShabnamHashmi) 20 May 2019
Shiv Sahay Awasthi, District Election Officer, Jhansi, said, "Some polling parties arrived late, however, all EVMs were put in place in the strong room by 7 am. The strong room has been sealed in presence of general observers and candidates under CCTV surveillance."
ECI also denied any irregularities in Chandauli and Domariaganj.
"In Chandauli frivolous allegation was made by some people. In Domariaganj agitation was unnecessary. They (protestors) were convinced by DM and SP. The matter is resolved. EVMs are safe and stored as per protocol", ECI said in a statement.
The apprehensions regarding EVMs are baseless. EVMs are in strong room with 24×7 CISF security. And candidates have been allowed to post their agents to monitor the strong room.— Ghazipur_admin (@AdminGhazipur) 21 May 2019
ECI also reiterated that all polled EVMS and VVPATs were sealed properly in front of the candidates and added that the process was video-graphed.
Congress party candidate from Mirzapur, Lalitesh Pati Tripathi has written to the observer of the Lok Sabha constituency requesting him to remove the reserve EVMs, kept at the counting venue, in front of political parties' candidate and their representatives, in front of cameras.