Tamil Nadu

TN Assembly polls | MNM wants additional protection in counting centres

MNM leader Kamal Haasan talking to media on Tuesday   | Photo Credit: Raghunathan S.R.

Raising doubts over certain alleged activities near strong rooms, where Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) containing votes polled in the Assembly elections are being kept ahead of counting on May 2, Makkal Needhi Maiam founder Kamal Haasan on Tuesday asked for additional protection at the counting centres.

Speaking to reporters at the Secretariat premises in Chennai after submitting a petition in this regard at the office of the Chief Electoral Officer, Mr. Haasan said strong rooms should be true to their names. The repeated malfunctioning of CCTVs in the counting centres, the “mysterious” movement of containers near the counting centres, the unannounced installation of Wi-fi facilities near the strong rooms and the movement of unauthorised persons with laptops near the strong rooms, among others, raised suspicions among the minds of the people and candidates, Mr. Haasan claimed.

“The rules [for protection of safety of EVMs] have to be followed strictly. The voters should have the confidence of the Commission in this regard. As it is, 30% of the voters did not vote. These incidents would raise doubts among the people and it poses the danger of people losing trust. It poses a danger to democracy,” the actor-turned-politician said.

Mr. Haasan said his party was receiving several complaints of other natures, and claimed that movement of vehicles near the counting centres during unearthly hours and unannounced construction activity near them, only added to the doubts of the people.

Referring to an incident in Chennai in which EVMs were taken on a scooter by unauthorised persons, he said: “We cannot say that EVMs are sanctimonious. They have been in unauthorised possession.”

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Printable version | May 12, 2021 6:33:08 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/tn-assembly-polls-mnm-wants-additional-protection-in-counting-centres/article34366610.ece

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