The Election Commission on Tuesday dismissed all allegations of EVM manipulations in strongrooms in Uttar Pradesh saying they were ‘frivolous’ and that ‘protocol’ was being followed to secure the voting machines ahead of the vote count on May 23.
“EVMS and VVPATs were sealed properly in front of the political parties candidates in videography. CCTV cameras are installed.. at a point one representatives of each candidates is present. The allegations are baseless,” an EC report said on Tuesday after protests on Monday.
Protests by parties were reported from Ghazipur, Chandauli, Domariyaganj and Jhansi, all in politically crucial state of Uttar Pradesh, which with its 80 Lok Sabha seats, is vital to political calculations of all major political parties.
Parties alleged that EVMs were being changed in the strongrooms at the instance of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
About Chandauli, the EC report said, “frivolous allegation by some people, EVMs were in proper security and protocol.”
The protest took place when additional EVMs from the Sakaldiha assembly segment were brought there. Chandauli had gone to poll in the seventh and final phase of the Lok Sabha election on Sunday.
The administration, however, denied the allegation that EVMs were being changed.
It said additional unused EVMs from Sakaldiha assembly segment were brought to Naveen Mandi Sthal and they were meant to be stored in a different room at the place.
“Thirty five additional unused EVMs were kept at the Sakaldiha tehsil. These couldn’t be transported on Sunday and were brought from Sakaldiha on Monday to be stored in a different place,” district election officer Navneet Singh Chahal said.
Regarding protests in Domariyaganj, the EC said: “EVMs were in proper security and protocol. Agitation was unnecessary.”
In Ghazipur, SP-BSP alliance candidate Afzal Ansari staged a demonstration a few metres from the strong room, alleging that EVMs from other districts were being brought there. The administration denied the charge.