The poll panel had cited its objection to Vemuru’s presence on a delegation on Saturday that sought to discuss concerns about because of the “criminal case involving the theft of an electronic voting machine against him”. In its letter to the party, the Election Commission said, “When the discussions came to the issue of EVMs and their functioning, one of the delegates repeatedly raised various technical issues regarding functioning of EVM and said that he has the requisite technical expertise in the field.”
In a reply to the Election Commission’s letter, Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party accused the poll panel of avoiding the situation and claimed that there was no chargesheet against Vemuru. “Instead of focusing on the issue, the commission is trying to avoid addressing the situation,” the party said while suggesting that the panel “comprehend, clarify and resolve the issues raised by Hari Prasad Vemuru on our behalf”.
The chief minister had claimed that 30%-40% of electronic voting machines did not work during polling for the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh on April 11. Naidu had also claimed that the poll body’s decision to transfer several government officials in Andhra Pradesh before the elections was unjustified.
Naidu also called for a return to the use of paper ballots.
Polling in Andhra Pradesh continued till midnight on April 11, amid technical glitches in the EVMs and violent incidents. Naidu had also written a letter to Arora, demanding a re-poll in 150 booths.
Naidu is scheduled to meet Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Congress leader Kapil Sibal and other Opposition leaders in the the national Capital to discuss their concerns about the use of the machines in the Lok Sabha polls.
Opposition parties have raised doubts about the credibility of electronic voting machines a number of times in the last two years. However, the Election Commission has repeatedly denied allegations that the machines can be tampered with.