'Transparent process, no question of EVM tampering,' says CEC Sushil Chandra
"Authorised polling agents of the political parties are allowed to come inside the counting centre. There is no question of EVM tampering," said CEC Sushil Chandra.
As the counting of votes began, Sushil Chandra, the Chief Election Commissioner, said the counting is a transparent process. He said there is a standard operating procedure under which they conduct the counting.
"Authorised polling agents of the political parties are allowed to come inside the counting centre. There is no question of EVM tampering. EVMs have been continuously used since 2004. In 2019, we have started using VVPAT at every polling booth. EVMs are sealed in the presence of political party agents," he added.
Earlier, Akhilesh Yadav accused Election Commission personnel of tampering with EVMs and stated he no longer believed the election authority. The SP head further claimed that the Varanasi District Magistrate (DM) was transferring EVMs without informing local candidates, and he asked the EC to investigate.
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Reacting to the same, Chandra said, "The questions raised on an EVMs in Varanasi was meant for training purpose. The ADM's mistake was that he did not inform political parties about the movement of EVMs for training purposes as per the standard operating procedure."
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Speaking about the recent five states, where the counting is underway, Chandra said around 31,000 additional voting stations were built. "We set about 1,900 polling stations managed by women, which resulted in a high level of female participation. In four of the five states, the percentage of female voters was higher than the percentage of male voters," he added.
"During the electoral rally prohibition imposed by the Omicron wave, the EC handled MCC infractions severely. In all five states, about 2,270 FIRs were lodged for breaches of COVID rules as well as MCC infractions. For the EC, every political party is the same," Chandra said.