CEO vents ire at circulation of fake videos

CEO vents ire at circulation of fake videosDr Rajat Kumar, Chief Electoral Officer, Telangana addressing the media at the Secretariat on Tuesday
Highlights

CEO Rajat Kumar appeals to everyone to behave responsibly and not forward such fake messages that might create unnecessary doubts as thousands of poll staff toiled hard to successfully conduct elections in the State

Hyderabad: Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Rajat Kumar on Tuesday criticised the circulation of fake videos and messages about EVMs, VVPATs and polling percentages on social media attributing to the Lok Sabha elections in Telangana.

He called upon everyone to behave responsibly and not forward such fake messages that might create unnecessary doubts as thousands of poll staff toiled hard to successfully conduct elections in the State.

Addressing the media here, Rajat Kumar cited the instances of two videos that were wrongly attributed as EVMs of Nizamabad Lok Sabha segment. "One video relating to an EVM found in a house actually pertains to Rajasthan assembly elections held last year, but it was wrongly circulated as found in a ruling party leader's house on Nizamabad-Maharashtra border.

Another video of EVMs being shifted to MRO office in Jagtial were actually M2 EVMs that were used for only training purposes and not the polled EVMs that were already stored in the strong room," he said.

The CEO said that there are four types of EVMs- A-category (polled EVMs) and B-category (EVMs that are replaced after being used for some time on the polling day) that are stored in strong room while C-category (faulty units found during election preparedness) and D-category that are used for training purposes and stored in State warehouses for any future requirements.

It may be mentioned here that another video that went viral showed how EVMs were shifted in an auto during the night in Jagtial.

District Collector A Sharath issued a clarification that those EVMs were used for training voters in Raikal and Sarangapur and they were shifted from mandal warehouse to district warehouse while the EVMs used for polling were stored in a separate strong room.

Touching on this subject, Rajat Kumar said that polled EVMs were kept in a strong room that was sealed in presence of an external observer, Returning Officer, candidates and polling agents etc.

There is three-tier security to these rooms besides round the clock surveillance of CCTVs and candidates are also allowed to check CCTV footage, he said, allaying any fears of breach of security near strong rooms.

Commenting on the uproar over increased final polling figures, the CEO said that it was a general norm and there would be some difference of percentage to initial and final polling figures.

He said that forms-17A and 17C, which give information of the number of votes polled in each booth including names of voters, were duly signed by agents of contestants and sent by POs to sector magistrates and then to RO after which the final polling figure is calculated.

If there were any discrepancies in polling figures, why would the party agents in each booth put their signature on those papers, he asked.

Rajat Kumar said that these doubts on polling percentages were uncalled for and candidates could check with their polling agents and Form 17Cs given to each one of them.

As regards to picture of a local leader standing in front of EVMs and VVPATs in Keesara of Malkajgiri segment, he said that case has been booked against the concerned person and he was sent to judicial remand.

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