Fear of ‘EVM rigging’, gathbandhan watchdogs guarding strongrooms

MEERUT: Amid allegations of EVMs rigging surfaced and most of the exit polls on Sunday predicted a thumping victory to the BJP-led NDA, an army of Mahagathbandhan workers and supporters are guarding the strong rooms where the EVMs have been kept.

According to Times Of India reports, tents have been erected approximately 200m away from the strong room and workers and a coordinated team of 15-20 people from all the three alliance parties are guarding the Election Commission EVM strongroom in shifts of eight hours each–6 am to 2 pm, 2 pm to 10 pm, and 10 pm to 6 am.

Two tents have been erected each outside Katai Mill in Meerut’s Partapur area. The alliance workers are camping from April 11, hours after polling ended.

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LCD screens were also installed in another tent and few SP-BSP men were deployed to continuously watch CCTV feed from outside EVM strong room to keep a close eye on every movement at the strong room.

Carrying binoculars make it easier to be vigil against EVM ‘tampering’ at night and after dawn.

Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has also in an audio message appealed to the party workers to stay vigil near the strong rooms. “Don’t lose your heart by the exit polls as these are being spread to lower your morale. Your attention is required more. Be strong and remain alert near the counting centre and the strong rooms. I am hopeful that your hard work will pay,” said Priyanka Gandhi.

A major controversy erupted on Tuesday after the opposition parties levelled allegations that the EVMs were being changed in the EC’s strongrooms in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar but the poll body asserted that the charges were “baseless” and “frivolous”.

The charges of manipulations surfaced after some videos went viral purportedly showing the EVMs being transported in open trucks.

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.

“Certain complaints of alleged movement of EVMs, purportedly to replace the polled EVMs in the strong rooms, have been doing the rounds in sections of media. Election Commission would like to emphatically and unambiguously clarify that all such reports and allegations are absolutely false, and factually incorrect,” ECI said in the release.

“Polled EVMs are safe in sealed strong rooms under security, CCTV coverage and surveillance of candidates. There is no possibility of changing EVMs. Don’t panic and keep faith”, the official handle of CEO, Uttar Pradesh tweeted.

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