Former President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, on Tuesday issued a statement expressing concerns at media reports of alleged tampering of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and the safety and security of these machines.
His statement comes a day after he lauded the Election Commission of India (ECI) for its conduct of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls while speaking at a book release function.
“I’m concerned at reports of alleged tampering of voters’ verdict. The safety and security of EVMs which are in the custody of ECI is the responsibility of the Commission,” he said.
Adding that there could be no room for speculations that challenge the very basis of our democracy, he said that the “people’s mandate” has to be “above any iota of doubt.”
“It is the ‘workmen’ who decide how the institutional ‘tools’ perform”, he said, adding that it was the job of the ECI to ensure institutional integrity, who must exert themselves in putting all speculations to rest.
Mr. Mukherjee’s statement is significant in that it comes not just a day after his own speech lauding the conduct of the polls, but also on a day when a united opposition group approached the ECI for compulsory tallying of all EVM machines with VVPAT (Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail) of an assembly segment in case of mismatch in any one machine.