Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar and poll panel officers at a consultative meeting with collectors and police officials in Chennai on Friday.
Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar and poll panel officers at a consultative meeting with collectors and police officials in Chennai on Friday.  Express | Ashwin Prasath
Tamil Nadu

VVPAT placement in EVM set-up may lead to vote tampering, DMK tells EC

Express News Service

CHENNAI: The ruling DMK has expressed concern over the proposed placement of voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) between the ballot unit (BU) and the control unit (CU), apprehending potential vote tampering.

The party raised the issue at a meeting convened by the Election Commission of India held under CEC Chief Rajiv Kumar. The EC had called for the consultative meeting with political parties, district election officers (district collectors), and police officers in Chennai on Friday.

Representatives from 10 political parties, including the AIADMK, BJP, Congress, CPM, CPI, AAP, BSP, DMDK, and others, submitted their plea.

DMK’s organising secretary RS Bharathi and Rajya Sabha MP NR Elango presented the party’s concerns regarding the placement of VVPAT.

The party argued that there is no provision in ECI’s rules to place the VVPAT between BU and CU, in which the communication will happen from BU to VVPAT first and then from VVPAT to CU.

Instead, the DMK proposed that BU be connected in parallel with CU and VVPAT to ensure simultaneous input signal transmission to both. The party also sought for the counting of 100% VVPAT slips instead of the proposed 5% in every Assembly constituency.

AIADMK, represented by former minister D Jayakumar and former MLA IS Inbadurai, submitted a representation urging the EC to assign the contract for installing CCTV cameras in polling booths to neutral parties with verified backgrounds.

They emphasised the need for proper preservation of CCTV footage. AIADMK also called for a single-phase election, increased security forces in sensitive polling booths, and the prompt removal of duplicate and deceased entries from poll rolls.

Representing the BJP, ‘Karate’ Thiagarajan urged the Election Commission to ensure adequate security at sensitive booths and installation of CCTV cameras in all booths and strong rooms.

Later, VCK staged protest urging the EC to bring back the ballot papers system in elections or mandate the 100% counting of VVPAT slips before announcing the results of EVM votes.

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