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Home Politics ECI issues clarifications after opposition parties and journalists peddle fake news about EVMs

ECI issues clarifications after opposition parties and journalists peddle fake news about EVMs

The Congress President, the Deputy CM of Delhi from the Aam Aadmi Party, numerous other senior politicians from other Opposition parties and even some journalists have been peddling fake news and bizarre allegations against EVMs.

Ever since the Exit Polls for the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections were released, the Opposition parties have initiated a concerted effort to discredit the EVMs used in these elections. The Congress President, the Deputy CM of Delhi from the Aam Aadmi Party, numerous other senior politicians from other Opposition parties and even some journalists have been peddling fake news and bizarre allegations against EVMs.

Under such circumstances, the spokesperson of the Election Commission of India has come forward to put these matters to rest. Certain allegations were levelled about the mishandling of EVMs in Chandauli, Uttar Pradesh. The spokesperson has stated that guidelines and protocols were adequately followed and the matter has been resolved peacefully.

The clarification issued by the Returning Officer mentions that the controversy erupted when unused EVMs and VVPAT machines were being moved to a separate strong room. Samajwadi Party karyakartas expressed concern when they were being moved and protests erupted over the matter. However, all political parties involved were informed prior to moving the unused machines. All protocols and guidelines were followed during the entire process and the District President of the Samajwadi Party expressed his satisfaction and on behalf of the candidate as well after the facts of the matter were duly investigated.

In Ghazipur, allegations have been levelled that candidates were being prevented from keeping a watch on the strongrooms where EVMs were kept in violation of guidelines. However, the Returning Officer in the constituency has claimed it was not so. In reality, some candidates, instead of the allotted one person per party, were demanding that 3 or more be allowed at a single shift. The authorities objected to that specific request and that alone.

In Jhansi, too, where allegations of mishandling of EVMs were made, the Returning Officer has issued a clarification that they are unfounded. The unused EVMs and VVPAT machines were kept separately from the used ones. The entire process was conducted in daylight in the presence of General Observers from all parties concerned.

Some doubts were raised as it took longer than usual to seal the rooms with the unused machines due to their late arrival, however, the due protocol was followed and all stakeholders involved were witness to the entire series of events. Moreover, CCTV camera and security forces are maintaining strict vigilance over the used machines.

In Saran, Bihar too, candidate agents had expressed satisfaction over the transparency and the guidelines being followed by the officials.

Thus, all the allegations being levelled currently at the mishandling of EVMs by senior politicians and journalists appear to be falling flat. Even the Karyakartas of the parties on the ground agree that the ECI officials are following due procedure and the process is being conducted in a free and fair, transparent manner. Thus, it appears the allegations are not based on grounds of truth but are borne of a malicious desire to undermine the legitimacy of the NDA’s looming victory.

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OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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