New Delhi: A day ago, he was all praises for the Election Commission (EC) for “perfectly” conducting the Lok Sabha polls. On Tuesday, Mukherjee expressed concern over reports of alleged “tampering of voters’ verdict”. Also Read - EC Bans Poll Rallies For The Remaining Of The Elections in West Bengal
In a statement, he said, “I am concerned over reports of alleged tampering of voters’ verdict. Safety and security of EVMs is Election Commission’s responsibility.” He added that the onus to ensure institutional integrity was on the EC, especially since it was severely being criticised by the Opposition for being biased. Also Read - West Bengal Election 2021: Mamata Banerjee Stages Dharna in Kolkata to Protest EC's 24-Hour Campaign Ban
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“There can be no room for speculations that challenge the very basis of our democracy. People’s mandate is sacrosanct and has to be above any iota of reasonable doubt. A firm believer in our institutions, it is my considered opinion that it is the ‘workmen’ who decide how the institutional ‘tools’ perform,” he said.
Speaking at an event on Monday, Mukherjee said right from the first Election Commissioner Sukumar Sen to the present election commissioners, the institution was working well. “You cannot criticise them, it was perfect conduct of elections,” he had said.
However, his concern a day later comes in the wake of allegations of EVM tampering. Earlier in the day, the EC also issued a statement that read, “The aspersions in clips being used in media merely pertain to the storage or movement of reserve unused EVMs. However, any case of lapse even in the handling of reserve EVMs is thoroughly investigated and disciplinary action taken against the officers responsible.”
The EC called the allegations “frivolous” said the voting machines were maintained in “proper security and protocol”.
On Tuesday, a video did the rounds on social media purportedly showing EVMs being unloaded from a truck a day after voting in Chandauli and Ghazipur constituencies in Uttar Pradesh. There were also allegations of EVM tampering in parts of Bihar, Haryana and Punjab.