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Maharashtra Assembly Polls: Fearing EVM tampering, Congress demands jammers around strong room

In a letter addressed to the poll body, Balasaheb Thorat has demanded jammers for all assembly constituencies until the process of counting is over.

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DNA Web Team

Updated: Oct 22, 2019, 09:21 PM IST

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A day after the voting for Maharashtra and Haryana assembly elections, the Congress on Tuesday expressed fear that the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) used in the elections can be "tampered" using wireless networks like mobile phones and WiFi and requested the Election Commission that "Network Jammers" be used in and around the strong rooms where these machines have been kept. 

In a letter addressed to the Chief Electoral Officer, Maharashtra, state party chief Balasaheb Thorat has demanded network jammers for all assembly constituencies till the process of counting is over. 

This comes as the exit polls have estimated two-third majority for the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance against the opposition Congress-NCP combine. Nearly 60.5% voter turnout was recorded for the elections to 288 assembly seats in the state. 

Counting of votes will be held on Thursday, October 24. 

"The citizens of our country at large fear that the said EVMs can be tampered via various wireless networks like mobile towers, WiFi networks et. Hence we feel that installation of 'Network Jammers' is highly necessary in & around strong rooms where these EVMs are stored till counting. These jammers should be installed during counting process as well. We hereby demand for immediate installation of such network jammers for all assembly constituencies across the state without any further delay," he said in his letter. 

Thorat also demanded that the result sheet for each round of counting should be declared during the process. 

In another request, the state Congress chief has asked that candidates should be allowed to select VVPATs which are made available for cross-counting against EVMs.

Thorat, who is contesting the state election from Sangamner assembly seat in Ahmednagar, further asked the poll body that in case of any doubtful EVM that machine be allowed for counting for fur times in a row, 

Besides, he also reiterated that 50% of VVPAT slips should be physically counted. 

As the Supreme Court order, issued earlier this year before the Lok Sabha elections, the random matching of VVPAT slips with EVMs takes place in five polling booths per assembly segment.

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