Mumbai: Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee president Balasaheb Thorat has written a letter to the state Chief Electoral Officer suggesting measures for "free and fair elections" in the state including installation of network jammers in and around strong rooms where EVMs are stored till counting.
Assembly elections in Maharashtra were held on Monday (October 21), while the counting of votes will take place on Thursday (October 24). "Post polling in the state, the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) are shifted to the strong room at various locations. It is important to note that a large section of our citizens apprehend that these EVMs can be tampered with and hence is a grave threat to democracy," Thorat wrote in his letter to the state Chief Electoral Officer.
He later suggested that "installation of 'Network Jammers' is highly necessary in and around strong rooms where these EVMs are stored till counting." "These jammers should be installed during counting process as well. We hereby demand for an immediate installation of such network jammers for all Assembly constituencies across the state without any further delay," he wrote.
He further suggested, "We would like to request you to make and declare the result sheet for each round of counting and for that particular round. Only after the result sheet for that particular round is prepared, duly signed by the returning officer and provided to all the parties, then and then only the EVMs of next round should be opened for counting." Thorat stated that as per Election Commission guidelines, certain VVPATs are made available for physical verification. "We hereby request you to grant our candidate liberty to select the EVMs to be tested against VVPAT slips out of the total EVMs available," he wrote.
He has also demanded that in any doubtful EVM case, that same machine should be allowed for counting four times in a row at that moment. "We hereby reiterate our demand for testing 50 per cent EVMs against VVPAT slips for physical verification," he added.
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