The Election Commission on Saturday decided to have the chief electoral officer of Andhra Pradesh and other polling officers from Delhi supervise the by-polls to two Assembly seats in Madhya Pradesh on April 9, NDTV reported. The decision was made to quell concerns of Opposition parties after a video of an Electronic Voting Machine trial showed the paper trail attached to it generating a receipt for the Bharatiya Janata Party when MP Chief Electoral Officer Saleena Singh selected the button for the Samajwadi Party.
After leaders of the Congress and Aam Aadmi Party approached the Election Commission, alleging EVM tampering again, the polling monitor said two teams of EC officers, along with technical experts, will be deployed in Madhya Pradesh to ensure that the EVMs and Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trails used in the by-polls were “to the complete satisfaction of all stakeholders”.
“The commission is committed to conduct the entire electoral process transparently, fairly and to the complete satisfaction of stakeholders, including esteemed voters,” the EC said in a statement. It has also transferred the collector and superintendent of police of Bhind – one of the constituencies that will go to the polls on April 9 – out of the district, Hindustan Times reported.
The EC has ordered an inquiry into the faulty EVMS in Madhya Pradesh, even though it had maintained earlier that the voting machines were tamper-proof. Opposition parties had alleged EVM manipulation after the BJP on with massive majorities in both Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand in the Assembly elections last month.