Congress in Telangana has demanded to beef up the security inside the strong rooms, where Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) are placed to prevent tampering and manipulation. The party stated that the strong rooms must be assigned either to the Army or the CRPF personnel.
Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) treasurer, Gudur Narayana Reddy asked the Election Commission of India to look into the need for special security measures at all strong rooms across Telangana.
"Since the votes will be counted on May 23, 2019, ie. after 42 days, special measures are needed to ensure that EVMs remain safe, untouched and inaccessible from all kinds of tampering or manipulation," said Reddy.
With soaring controversies around EVM tamperings, Reddy also stated that serious allegations of EVM manipulation were leveled during the Legislative Assembly elections held in December, last year.
The Congress leader further said that the local police should be prohibited to access these guarded strong rooms and that their role should be limited to providing basic logistic support.
He also sought permission to the recognised political parties, urging them to deploy their cadre at strong rooms for vigilance. Reddy demanded that high-security jammers be installed around all strong rooms to protect them from "possible wireless hacking of EVMs."
Furthermore, he said that the CCTV footage of all booths on the polling day must be recorded and must be preserved till the counting day i.e. May 23.
"All the spare EVMs, which were not used in the polling, should be either sent to other States for next phases of polling or sealed, " added Reddy.
Telangana has entered into the Phase 1 of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections that kicked off on Thursday, April 11. All 17 constituencies including Nizamabad, Secundrabad, Hyderabad, Chevella and others, entered Phase 1 of voting on April 11. Till 5 pm, the voter turnout in Telangana was at 60%.
Earlier in the day, former Indian Cricket team captain and Telangana Congress chief, Mohammad Azharuddin was seen coming out of booth no. 71 after casting his vote in Hyderabad on Thursday. The image was posted by ANI's official account.
The counting of the votes will take place on May 23.
(with PTI inputs)