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Last Updated : Oct 23, 2019 11:08 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Congress demands installation of jammers in strong rooms housing EVMs, counting centres in Maharashtra

In a letter written to the state's Chief Electoral Officer on October 22, Maharashtra Congress chief Balasaheb Thorat sought installation of jammers, devices which block the operations of mobile phone services within their range.

Representative image
Representative image

Congress has demanded the installation of mobile phone jammers in the premises of strong rooms housing electronic voting machines (EVMs) used in the polling in the Maharashtra Assembly elections and counting centres.

The opposition party in the state has written a letter to the Election Commission of India (EC) seeking its demand to be considered in the interest of democracy and integrity of the poll process as "people feel" EVMs can be tampered with.

In a letter written to the state's Chief Electoral Officer on October 22, Maharashtra Congress chief Balasaheb Thorat sought installation of jammers, devices which block the operations of mobile phone services within their range.

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"People feel EVMs could be tampered with. Hence, jammers should be installed in the premises of strong rooms and counting centres," he said.

EVMs used in the October 21 elections have been kept at strong rooms at different places in the state. They will be opened on October 24 for counting.

The Congress's demand comes two days after its ally, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), called for the suspension of Internet services within three km radius of every polling booth, strong rooms, from the day of voting till the votes are counted.

The former Maharashtra minister also asked the poll watchdog to declare the result sheet after each round of counting.

Candidates should be given liberty to select EVMs to be tested against voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) slips, he said.

"In case suspicion is raised against any EVM, same machine should be allowed for counting four times in a row at that moment," Thorat demanded.

He also reiterated the party's demand for testing 50 percent of the EVMs against VVPAT slips for physical verification.

VVPAT is a machine which dispenses a slip with the symbol of the party for which a person has voted for. The slip drops in a box but the voter cannot take it home.

(With inputs from PTI)

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First Published on Oct 22, 2019 08:18 pm
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