Panaji, The Congress in Goa on Wednesday questioned the “lackadaisical attitude” of the poll authorities in the state while alleging inordinate delay in transportation of EVMs from polling centres to strong-rooms in respective districts, which they claimed had rendered the machines vulnerable.
“We are shocked and surprised at the casual and negligent manner in which the Election Commission has treated the process of moving the EVMs to the strong-room, especially in North Goa, where some EVMs reached the strong-room today (Wednesday) evening,” Congress chief spokesperson Sunil Kawthankar told reporters late on Wednesday.
He further alleged that the machines, once transported to the strong-rooms, were kept “casually” in the strong-rooms with no security arrangements.
“Already the security and safety of EVMs is under question, and this attitude shown by the Election Commission has further raised doubts in the minds of the public. It is very necessary that EVMs are stored with proper security for sake of people’s faith in the election mechanism,” Kawthankar said.
Chief Electoral Officer Kunal was not available for comment.
Sources at the state poll office, however, said that the delay in dispatching the EVMs from polling stations to the strong-room was on account of logistical issues.
“It was already late by the time polling ended and the formalities took time, which delayed the dispatch of EVMs, but it is incorrect to say that the EVMs were left unguarded, because police personnel were guarding the EVMs at every polling station,” said an officer.