Chennai: The DMK on Wednesday asked the Election Commission to clarify on the suspicious movements of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) and Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines to Theni and Erode on Tuesday.
In a letter to the Chief Election Commissioner and Chief Electoral Officer of Tamil Nadu, DMK’s Organising Secretary and MP R.S. Bharathi also asked them the purpose of shifting the machines.
According to Bharathi, about 50 EVMs were brought to the office of Thesildar at Theni from Coimbatore without any intimation to the candidates who had contested in the Theni Lok Sabha constituency and in the by-elections for Periakulam and Andipatti Assembly seats.
He said even the District Collector, being the District Electoral Officer, or the officials available in the Thesildar’s office were not able to clarify on the EVMs’ movements, raising mistrust on the Election Commission’s activity during the late hours on Tuesday.
Bharathi said the Chief Electoral Officer told the media that the EVMs were shifted on the orders of the Election Commission, expecting re-poll in certain polling centres, and 20 VVPATs have also been moved to Erode.
“It is not known on whose request pe-polling is being processed. In fact, no affirmative order is communicated by the Election Commission on the request made our DMK party for re-polling in 10 polling booths in Pappireddypatti within Dharmapuri constituency,” Bharathi said.
“While so, moving EVMs and VVPATs to the places, where re-poll is not asked for, creates strong doubts on the activities of the Election Commission. What is the modus operandi behind these suspicious moves of EVMs and VVPAT shall be clearly and transparently explained by the Election Commission. Otherwise, the trust on the Election Commission would further diminish,” Bharathi said.
He also asked the poll body to furnish details of EVMs and VVPATs now shifted to Theni and Erode and not to shift any more such machines from any place to any place in Tamil Nadu without prior intimation to political parties.