In the run up to the Gujarat Assembly elections, the Election Commission is planning to begin the first-level checking (FLC) of the electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the state from August 16. As part of the exercise, the EC officials visited various districts to check the preparedness of the concerned district administration for the FLC.
In the wake of allegations of tampering with EVMs to prejudice the election results, the exercise aiming transparency assumes significance.
The EC officials who are being deputed from outside Gujarat for the FLC of the EVMs visited Kheda, and checked the godown where the machines have been kept.
Kheda Collector Kuldeep Arya said, “This is a routine procedure that we undertake before any election. Depending upon the availability of the authorised engineers of the EVM manufacturing companies, the FLC will begin from August 16.”
“Today, the joint CEO of Rajasthan and other EC officials visited the godown and checked the preparations like if videography and CCTV facilities are functional and if there are proper facilities for the representatives of the political parties,” he added.
Around 2,500 EVMs which have been kept at a godown in Nadiad where the FLC will take place. Authorised representatives of all six national political parties are formally being informed about the FLC which could take around 20 days.
During this time, the political parties can check if the EVMs are functional, and if any of them is faulty. The entire process will also be videographed. Movement of each EVM is being tracked digitally along with the opening and closing of the place where the machines have been kept, Arya added.