New Delhi, Nov 15: The Election Commission of India on Wednesday ordered a probe into the firm which was responsible for webcasting the Himachal Pradesh Assembly polls 2017. According to reports, EC was to monitor 2,300 polling booths on the day of the election, but the firm failed to webcast voting from 2,150 polling stations.
According to the company, Epitome Corporation Limited, they faced telephone connectivity problems. However, a preliminary probe into the matter showed that they lacked the required equipment for webcasting. According to Hindustan Times, during the trial runs one day ahead of the polls on November 8, webcasting was done from only 150 polling stations.
The EC invited bids for live-streaming voting from 2,300 polling stations and to track polling parties. Following this, Epitome Corporation Ltd, a Gujarat-based firm, was made responsible for livestreaming the polls. The company also sent its team and along with the Election Commission’s local IT cell, it reportedly set up equipment.
EC directed conduction of webcasting, CCTV coverage, videography and use of digital cameras inside critical and vulnerable polling booths to keep an eye on any possible instance of booth-capturing, money distribution and bogus voting.
The company responsible for the directed tasks was expected to be equipped with streaming software on the polling day. The firm was also supposed to hand over all records of the polling day in video or audio format within a week.
According to Joint election commissioner Vikas Sood, a detailed report has been ordered from the deputy commissioners. Sood, however, assured that no payments were yet made to the firm and required action will be initiated after analysing booth-wise details.
Ahead of the assembly polls, EC declared 399 stations as critical and at least 983 as vulnerable and in a bid to bringing in transparency in the election process came up with the idea to monitor the polling booths.
The Himachal Pradesh polls 2017 were held on November 9 and the results will be declared on December 18.