A candidate has raised concerns that rats may damage the EVMs kept in the strongroom in Mandi Samiti area in Mathura but the authorities have dismissed such apprehensions.

Apprehending damage from the rodents, Rashtriya Lok Dal’s Mathura candidate Narendra Singh, about a week ago, demanded wire mesh fencing around the strongroom where the EVMs are stored.

“EVMs kept in strongroom in Mandi Samiti are fully safe and there is no threat to them from rats,” District Magistrate Sarvagya Ram Mishra said on Thursday after inspecting the strongroom in the area on three successive days.

The area under the vigil of central security forces would remain out of bounds for any person, he said, adding that security forces have already been given instructions accordingly.

On the RLD-BSP-SP joint candidate’s demand, the DM said, “The directions sought in this regard, from the Election Commission, are awaited.”

He said any person with a criminal background will not be permitted as counting agent.

According to Mishra, the counting agents would be appointed Assembly-wise and no agent would be allowed to go to the counting area in other Assembly.

Election to Mathura Lok Sabha seat was held on April 18 and the results will be announced on May 23.

The seat is represented in the Lok Sabha by actor-turned-BJP leader Hema Malini.