New Delhi [India]: A 24-hour EVM Control Room has been made functional here at Nirvachan Sadan to monitor complaints relating to Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), Election Commission said.
This comes amidst concerns over alleged tempering and suspected manipulation of EVMs used in 2019 Lok Sabha election being raised by opposition parties.
Any complaints on counting day related to EVMs can be put forth at the control room. Their number is 011-23052123.
The EC further said, strongrooms have been designed to keep sealed EVMs and Voter-verified paper audit trails (VVPATs) in the presence of candidates and observers of the commission. These rooms are absolutely safe and the entire process of sealing and storage is videotaped by the officials.
The strongrooms are opened on the counting day and counting agents are shown seals, address tags and serial number of EVMs to maintain transparency and authenticity of the machines used in the polls.
The poll watchdog said all protocols and provisions have been explained to political parties and it has been made clear that in any case of a lapse in handling these machines will be investigated. It also ensured a disciplinary action against the officer held responsible for it.
On Tuesday, the EC had rubbished reports of alleged movement of EVMs purportedly to replace polled EVMs in strongrooms, terming them as “absolutely false”.
“Complaints of alleged movement of EVMs, purportedly to replace polled EVMs in strongrooms, doing rounds in sections of media are absolutely false. Visuals seen viral on media do not pertain to any EVMs used during the polls,” the EC said in a statement.
The statement from the poll body came after opposition parties citing TV reports complained that EVMs were replaced from the strongrooms in some constituencies of Uttar Pradesh.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu along with 21 opposition parties leaders urged the EC to count votes through VVPATs instead of EVMs during counting for the Lok Sabha polls.