Lok Sabha election results will be declared on Thursday.
Amid a row over videos of allegedly illegal storage and transportation of Electronic Voting Machines two days before Lok Sabha election results are announced, the Election Commission has come out with a statement saying it is looking at any lapse in the handling of reserved machines and assured of disciplinary action in case of any error.
“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 commission said.
Trying to quell fears over manipulation of the people’s mandate, it added, “Complaints of alleged movement of EVMs, purportedly to replace polled EVMs in strongrooms, doing rounds in sections of media. Would like to unambiguously clarify that reports are absolutely false. Visuals seen viral on media do not pertain to any EVMs used during the polls.”
In one of the videos, a group of men, perhaps in Uttar Pradesh’s Chandauli, could be seen uploading machines and carrying them into a shop. In another video, purportedly shot in Punjab, an AAP member alleged that two EVMs and one VVPAT machines were found inside a car.
In another such incident, Police in Mau had to disperse a crowd outside a strong room on Monday night. Speaking to ANI, Surendra Bahadur, SP Mau said, “Some people had gathered outside the EVM strong room believing social media rumours. They were dispersed using light force, law and order of the area are intact.”
Meanwhile, the commission sought to downplay EVM manipulation fears of Opposition parties days ahead of the declaration of election results. “The provisions and protocols have been explained to the political parties on multiple occasions including in several of the 93 meetings held with them at the Commission since the announcement of elections,” it said.