Maharashtra: Congress demands installation of jammers in strong room premises, counting areas; results tomorrow

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Updated: October 23, 2019 8:16:31 AM

Most exit polls have predicted that the BJP is likely to retain power with a bigger mandate in the state where it is in an alliance with the Shiv Sena.

Maharashtra election result Congress demands from ECI to install jammers in strong room premises. 9Representational pic)

The Congress party has once again demanded from the Election Commission to install mobile phone jammers in the premises of strong rooms housing electronic voting machines (EVMs) in Maharashtra. According to news agency ANI, the party has written a letter to the ECI stating that it should consider the demand in the interest of democracy and integrity of the poll process.

The Congress’s demand comes two days after its ally NCP called for the suspension of Internet services within three km radius of every polling booth, strong rooms till the votes are counted. EVMs used in the polling in Maharashtra on October 21 have been kept at strong rooms at different cities in the state. They will be opened on October 24 for counting.

Maharashtra Congress chief Balasaheb Thorat on Tuesday said that people feel EVMs could be tampered with. “Hence, jammers should be installed in the premises of strong rooms and counting centres,” he said.


Thorat also said that candidates should be given liberty to select EVMs to be tested against voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) slips. Besides, he reiterated the party’s demand for testing 50% of the EVMs against VVPAT slips for physical verification.

“In case suspicion is raised against any EVM, same machine should be allowed for counting four times in a row at that moment,” he demanded.

Meanwhile, the ECI has said that the state saw a voter turnout of 61.13%, a dip from the 63.20 per cent recorded in 2014. The final polling figure was released late Tuesday evening. The highest turnout, of 83.93%, was reported in the Karveer assembly seat in Kolhapur, while the lowest was in south Mumbai’s upmarket Colaba area at 40.11%.

Most exit polls have predicted that the BJP is likely to retain power with a bigger mandate in the state where it is in an alliance with the Shiv Sena.

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