CHENNAI: Even as Chief Electoral Officer Satyabrata Sahoo claimed that political party candidates and agents were informed about transportation of EVMs from Coimbatore to Theni, Congress and AMMK candidates who contested in Theni constituency denied getting any information from the Election Commission (EC) regarding the movement of the machines.
When asked why political parties were not kept in the loop while shifting the EVMs and VVPAT to Theni and Erode, Sahoo claimed that parties and their agents were informed. “The EVMs were shifted as per the directions of Election Commission. The Returning Officers in respective constituencies have intimated the political parties and agents,” he claimed.
However, both Congress and AMMK candidates in Theni Lok Sabha constituency denied getting any prior information.
EVKS Elangovan who contested in Theni told Express that neither he nor his agents received any intimation regarding the shifting of EVMs. “I have submitted a petition to Theni collector that such a move was unfair and violated the election norms,” he told Express.
Similarly, AMMK propaganda secretary Thanga Tamilselvan who contested in Theni, also denied getting any information from officials. He alleged, “Election officials have planned a massive malpractice during repolling to favour the ruling party. We will not let it happen.”
Besides, to a query over necessity of shifting the EVMs from Coimbatore to Theni while all the constituencies have been given spare EVMs, Sahoo said the additional EVMs received for Theni constituency have been used during polls (on April 18) as a replacement after machines developed technical snag.
The two booths in Theni parliamentary constituency - Kammavar Saraswathi Middle School at Balasamudram, Andipatti, and Sankaranarayana middle school at Vadugapatti, Periyakulam, are to face repoll for parliamentary elections and two Assembly bypolls on May 19.