New Delhi: Just a couple of days since a Congress delegation registered its complaint about the alleged faults in EVMs in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, the Election Commision has taken action ahead of counting of votes next week, reported ANI late on Thursday. (Also read: Clearer Picture to Emerge From Exit Polls on Friday) Also Read - SSR Death Case Update: 'Intensive Probe Being Carried Out With Advanced Forensic Equipment', Says CBI
In its complaint, the Congress had asked the LED screen of Bhopal’s strong room blacked out for hours and who were the two people entering Satna’s strong room. It alleged that the EVMs that had reached Sagar’s strong room after 48 hours of polling belonged to the Khurai constituency which is represented by State Home Minister Bhupender Singh. The party had demanded action and clarification over the issues. Also Read - Bihar Elections 2020: We Are Confident That NDA Will Get Majority, Says Ravi Shankar Prasad
On EVMs being found with officials in a private hotel in Shujalpur of Shajapur district in MP, the EC has initiated major penalty proceedings against four offending election officers. Sources said EVMs or VVPATs found with these officers were not used during polls. Also Read - Delhi Assembly Election 2020: EC Imposes 24-Hour Ban on BJP MP Parvesh Verma Again
As far as the complaint of two people entering the Satna strong room was concerned, EC sources told ANI that the strong room for seven Assembly Constituencies of Satna had been under CAPF security in the inner tier and SAF in the second tier with district police in the periphery. CCTV cameras had been placed in the premises to monitor security.
Sources told ANI that in Bhopal, CCTV cameras were installed to monitor the strong room gate. They said the movement of visitors was functional from sealing of strong room on November 29 till November 30 morning up to 8.19 AM when it got shut down due to a power cut. It was restored at 9.35 AM on the same day.
They said show cause notices had been served to six officials in the complaint regarding Khandwa. One unused EVM was kept in the Chhaigaonmakhan police station and two more sets of reserve EVMs were kept in the Tehsil Office of Pandhana on November 28.
A Congress party delegation, led by senior leaders Kamal Nath and Kapil Sibal, had visited the EC and highlighted the issue of alleged faults in EVMs.
After the meeting, Nath said that in most districts of Madhya Pradesh, the party has received complaints about EVM faults and alleged that some of these machines were found in hotels. He had demanded that the officials concerned should be suspended and barred from the counting process.
“Another demand that we raised is that unless the first round of results are not declared, the second round should not commence. The authorities, who are found guilty, should be suspended immediately,” said Nath, who is the president of Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee.
The counting of votes for Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Telangana and Mizoram, is scheduled to be held on December 11 at various locations across these states.