Pranab Mukherjee opens up on EVM row: EC must put all speculation to rest

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Published: May 21, 2019 4:54:41 PM

Pranab Mukherjee said that the onus of ensuring institutional integrity lies with the Commission. "They must do so and put all speculation to rest," he said. His statement came following reports of EVMs being transported without security forces in some parts of the country.

evm rigging, evm tampering, pranab mukherjee, pranab mukherjee eci, election commission evms, evm vvpat, vvpat testingThe former President said there can be no room for speculations that challenge the very basis of our democracy. (PTI)

Former President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday expressed concern over reports of alleged tampering of electronic voting machines and said that the onus of ending all speculation regarding EVMs lies with the Election Commission and that it must do it at once. “I am concerned at reports of alleged tampering of voters’ verdict. I am concerned at reports of alleged tampering of voters’ verdict. The safety and security of EVMs which are in the custody of ECI is the responsibility of the Commission,” Mukherjee said in a statement.

The former President said there can be no room for speculations that challenge the very basis of our democracy. “People’s mandate is sacrosanct and has to be above any iota of reasonable doubt,” he added.

He further said that the onus of ensuring institutional integrity lies with the Commission. “They must do so and put all speculation to rest,” he said. His statement came following reports of EVMs being transported without security forces in some parts of the country.

However, the Commission denied the allegations, saying all such reports and allegations are absolutely false and factually incorrect. “The visuals seen viral on media do not pertain to any EVMs used during the polls,” it said, referring to videos of EVMs being transported being aired on news channels and social media platforms.

Meanwhile, twenty-two opposition parties today submitted a memorandum before the Election Commission requesting that the verification of VVPAT slips of randomly identified five polling booths should be done prior to the initiation of counting of votes.

The opposition leaders have demanded that if any discrepancy is found during the verification, 100 per cent counting of paper slips of VVPATs of all polling stations of that assembly segment should be done. Informing about today’s development, senior Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi said that the opposition raised these same issues in the last 1.5 months.

“We asked Election Commission why have they not responded. Strangely, the EC heard us for almost an hour and they assured us they will meet again tomorrow morning to consider primarily these two issues,” he added.

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