AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa on Wednesday asked the Election Commission to appoint Data Entry operators of “integrity” for the counting of votes for the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections on Friday, alleging they had facilitated the “fraudulent victory” of Union Home Minister P.Chidambaram from Sivaganga in 2009.
“During the counting of votes for the Sivaganga Parliamentary Constituency, the votes polled in favour of the AIADMK candidate R.S. Raja Kannappan were entered in favour of Chidambaram and the votes polled in favour of Chidambaram were entered in favour of Raja Kannappan,” she claimed in a complaint to Chief Election Commissioner S.Y. Quraishi.
“The votes that were physically entered by the counting agents/counting officers of Raja Kannappan were deliberately changed by the Data Entry Operators at the time of making entries in Form 20,” she alleged.
In her letter, the Opposition Leader also attached data ’physically noted,’ by counting agents and the entries made by Data Entry Operators to back her claim.
‘A comparison of the hand written entries made by the Counting Agents of Kannappan and entries made by the Data Entry Operators in Form 20 Sheet clearly reveal that the votes polled in favour of Kannappan were entered with mala fide intention to favour the Congress candidate Chidambaram and facilitate his fraudulent victory,” she said.
“Blatant irregularities” were committed by Data Entry Operators at the behest of the DMK Government and no action was taken against operators who had indulged in such grave offences, she said, adding, a petition challenging the election of Mr. Chidamabaram was pending before the Madras High Court where these records had been filed.
“I request the ECI to appoint Data Entry Operators of integrity and also verify their credentials before they undertake the above assignment. I also request the EC to permit one Counting Agent to be present at the time when the votes counted are entered in Form 20 to monitor whether correct entries are made by Data Entry Operators with regard to the votes counted,” she said.
She also urged the ECI to instruct the Returning Officers and Observers to ensure votes recorded by Officers at the time of counting as well as the entries made by the Operators tallied with each other.
“I request the Election Commission to issue instructions to the Observers to declare the results of the Assembly Constituencies only thereafter, following such verification,” she said.