Day after praising EC, Pranab expresses concern over reports of ''tampering''

NEW DELHI: Joining the ongoing controversy over EVMs, former President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday expressed concern over the alleged tampering of voters’ verdict saying the onus of ensuring institutional integrity lies with the Election Commission, which should put all speculation to rest.

Day after praising EC, Pranab expresses concern over reports of ''tampering''

Pranab Mukherjee. File photo

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New Delhi, May 21

Joining the ongoing controversy over EVMs, former President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday expressed concern over the alleged tampering of voters’ verdict saying the onus of ensuring institutional integrity lies with the Election Commission, which should put all speculation to rest.

He also said there can be no room for speculation that challenge the very basis of Indian democracy.

“I am 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 in a statement posted on his Twitter handle.

The former President had yesterday lauded the role of the poll panel saying the 2019 Lok Sabha polls were conducted "perfectly". Speaking at a book launch event, he had said right from the first election commissioner Sukumar Sen to the present election commissioners, the institution is working very well.

People’s mandate is sacrosanct and has to be above any iota of reasonable doubt, he said today.

“The onus of ensuring institutional integrity in this case lies with the Election Commission of India. They must do so and put all speculation to rest,” he said.

Mukherjee said as a firm believer in the country’s institutions, it is his considered opinion that it is the ‘workmen’ who decide how the institutional ‘tools’ perform.

Protests broke out in some parts of Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday after videos of alleged movement and tampering of EVMs went viral on social media, a charge dismissed by the EC as “frivolous” and “unfounded”.

The Congress said the EC should take immediate and effective steps to address the complaints of movement of EVMs from strongrooms from various parts of the country.

Top opposition leaders, who met here on Tuesday, also decided to move the EC to press for their demand of tallying the paper trail of votes (VVPATs) with the EVM figures. — PTI

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