Chhattisgarh Congress moves HC over EVM strongroom ‘security breach’

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The Chhattisgarh Congress Thursday moved the state High Court seeking directions to the Election Commission of India (ECI) to look into officials of the administration allegedly incomingstrongrooms in Dhamtari where Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) are stored. The petition also stated that CCTV cameras at a strongroom in Durg were switched off for a few hours.

Citing examples of reported violations of Model Code of Conduct in Madhya Pradesh as well, the petition filed by Chhattisgarh general secretary Girish Dewangan has demanded that 50 percent of VVPATs be tallied, used and unused EVMs be segregated in strong rooms, counting of votes be held round-wise, and that there should be uninterrupted power to strong rooms for CCTV and LED screens to function without interruption.

The petition will be heard on December 10, a day before counting of votes.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has, meanwhile, stated that these are only tactics to mask the fear of defeat by the Opposition parties.

On Wednesday, in a similar instance, a BSF sub-inspector was allegedly found operating a laptop computer outside a strongroom housing EVMs in Bemetara district of Chhattisgarh, PTI reported.  Vikram Kumar Mehra, belonging to the 175th battalion of the Border Security Force, was removed from duty at the strongroom at Mandi after the Congress raised the matterof security of EVMs, officials said.

Congress leaders late Tuesday evening raised objection over the alleged use of laptop computer by the BSF man at the strongroom following which local officials swung into action, Bemetara Collector Mahadev Kawre told PTI.

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