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MNM complains of 'mystery' vehicles and men in strong rooms, seeks EC action

·2-min read

Chennai, Apr 20 (PTI) Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) chief Kamal Haasan on Tuesday alleged various irregularities in premises and strong rooms where EVMs used in the April 6 Tamil Nadu Assembly polls are stored and urged the Election Commission to take action.

Alleging the presence of 'mystery' vehicles and men in such centres, he said it was the EC's duty to instill confidence in voters, political parties and candidates that the elections have been held appropriately and the results announced honestly.

Earlier, DMK had also made such allegations and took up the matter with the EC.

Haasan submitted a memorandum to state Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Satyabrata Sahoo, the party said.

Highlighting the key points from the memorandum, a party release said there were instances of multiple voting by individuals, CCTV cameras in strong rooms suddenly becoming non-functional, 'mysterious container' lorries being brought 'discreetly' to campuses where the EVMs are stored and individuals being found near the strong rooms.

'A strong room should really be a strong room. CCTV cameras frequently not working, mysterious containers suddenly entering the premises, presence of wi-fi facilities inside and outside the premises, mysterious men roaming near the strong room with laptops are throwing up many questions,' Haasan later told reporters.

Already 30 per cent voters don't cast votes and when such 'mysteries and doubts persist' there is a danger of people's democratic contribution dipping further, he said.

'It will end as a danger for democracy,' he said.

Referring to the instance of EVMs and VVPATs being carried in two-wheelers in the city, that prompted the EC to order repoll in a booth here, he said 'EVMs cannot be called sanctimonious.' Asked if the EC was acting properly in safeguarding EVMS, Haasan said 'no is our complaint.

'That is what we have said here...not just complaints but also made recommendations for solutions,' he added.

Asked if such alleged irregularities were happening in all centres, he said 'we cannot be lax that it is happening only in some places.' Assembly polls in Tamil Nadu were held on April 6, with the counting of polled votes to be taken up on May 2.

Haasan, who made his electoral debut this time, is trying his luck from Coimbatore South.PTI SA SS PTI PTI