Chennai: The DMK on Friday alleged ”unauthorised” entry of persons and vehicles in campuses having strong rooms used to store EVMs used in the April 6 Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu and urged the Election Commission to take action on the matter.
In a memorandum to Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra and state Chief Electoral Officer Satyabrata Sahoo, DMK President MK Stalin listed out various such instances and urged the Election Commission to ensure no such vehicles or persons entered the premises.
In different instances, “covered vehicles” were brought to such campuses in Coimbatore, Tiruvallur and Chennai and when asked they were said to be mobile toilets meant for women police personnel.
In Chennai, “many numbers of wi-fi connections are found in active mode” near the vehicle, Mr Stalin said.
Despite the Election Commission’s instructions, “there is total lack of protocol in many strong room campuses, situated across the state, where the polled EVMs are stored,” he said.
Mr Stalin said that every strong room was located only in reputed colleges, where adequate lavatory facilities are available.
“While so, it is not known as to why the so-called mobile toilets are brought inside the strong room, in utter violation of the instructions issued by the Election Commission,” Stalin, state Leader of Opposition, said.
“The Returning Officers and District Electoral Officers who are duty bound to supervise the strong room campus have deliberately failed to discharge their duty, by allowing the above said vehicles, when it is specifically prohibited by the Election Commission,” Stalin added.
These incidents have created high suspicion over the security /protocol provided in the strong room premises and thereby the safety of the polled EVMs is in question, he said.
Further, there have been instances of individuals also entering the rooms, in Ramanathapuram, Neyveli and Tiruvallur, he said.
“In Tiruvallur strong room campus, many unauthorised persons claiming to be computer instructors are allowed to come inside the premises, for undisclosed reasons. CCTV cameras were not working for around 30 mts,” he alleged.
“All the above incidents have clearly proved that there is a total failure in the protocol/security in the strong room premises in the entire state,” he charged.
The party requested the EC to ensure complete safety and security of all EVMs in all 234 Assembly constituencies, not to allow any unauthorised person into the entire vicinity of strong room premises, not to permit any type of vehicles to be brought inside the strong room campuses and block and deactivate all wi-fi connections in and around the strong room campuses.
The opposition party also wanted the EC to furnish the list of all permitted persons in the strong room premises to the candidates, enabling to watch and monitor entry or roaming of any other unauthorised person inside the campus.
Assembly polls to 234 seats in the state were held on April 6 and the counting of votes will be taken up on May 2.