Supriya Sule Alleges CCTV In EVM Strongroom Switched Off. Poll Officer Responds

Supriya Sule Alleges CCTV In EVM Strongroom Switched Off. Poll Officer Responds

New Delhi:

The CCTV cameras at the strongroom where Electronic Voting machines were stored for the Baramati Lok Sabha Constituency, was switched off for 45 minutes, the Nationalist Congress Party (Sharadchandra Pawar) has alleged. Demanding an explanation from the Election Commission, senior party leader Supriya Sule called it ‘suspicious”, in a throwback to the multiple objections of the Opposition regarding Electronic Voting Machines. The Returning Officer for the constituency, Kavita Dwivedi, has said only the “display was temporarily closed”. No reason was cited for this temporary closure.

“CCTV system in warehouse where EVMs are kept in Baramati Lok Sabha Constituency fully operational. All data secure, only display temporarily closed- Explanation by Election Returning Officer Kavita Dwivedi,’ read a post on X, formerly Twitter, by the District Information Office, Pune.

The “explanation” came after a strong post from Ms Sule, the sitting MP who is defending the seat.

“It is suspicious that the CCTV is switched off where a very important thing like EVM is kept. Also, this is a big laxity,” read a rough translation of a Hindi post by Ms Sule.

“When the election representatives contacted the concerned authorities and administration, no satisfactory answers were received. Apart from this, technician is also not available at the said place. Also our representatives are not allowed to inspect the EVM status. This is very serious,” the post further read.

“The Election Commission should immediately take notice of this and announce the reasons why the CCTV was closed. Apart from this, appropriate action should be taken against those responsible for the incident,” her post added.

Baramati is one of the key Pawar versus Pawar fights in the state that took place on May 7. Ms Sule, the daughter of NCP patriarch Sharad Pawar, is up against her sister-in-law Sunetra Pawar, the wife of her cousin and Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar.

Ahead of the election, Ms Sule has called the choice of the candidate “dirty politics” by the BJP.

In July last year, Ajit Pawar had joined hands with the BJP-Eknath Shinde alliance in a very public split that came as a huge loss of face for his 83-year-old uncle.  

Only 12 of the party’s 53 MLAs have been supporting NCP founder Sharad Pawar, 41 MLAs are with Ajit Pawar. The MPs are split down the middle, with two MPs on each side.

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