With safety of the electronic voting machines kept inside strongrooms in focus, BSP workers in Punjab’s Jalandhar (Reserved) seat have been camping round the clock outside the premises of the district’s land record office to guard the EVMs. This while workers from other political parties have only been making rounds to the spot.
In Jalandhar, EVM and VVPAT machines have been deposited at the office of the Director Land Records, Government Sports School and the State Patwar School, both located at the premises of land record office.
The administration has deployed 900 security personnel, including Paramilitary, Punjab Armed Police (PAP) and Punjab Police to guard these machines.
“The forces may be guarding the strong rooms but still nothing is free from the control of the state. So our supporters are there to keep a check on every activity,” said Balwinder Kumar, BSP candidate, who is contesting as part of the PDA. He added that at a time five to six party workers sit outside the strongroom to keep a vigil.
Sitting Congress MP and Congress candidate Chaudhary Santokh Singh, who visited the location Tuesday morning, said: “We have full faith in the forces and the state government but still we are making rounds outside the strongroom just to keep a vigil from our side too.”
Election observer for Jalandhar parliamentary constituency, I Samuel Anand Kumar, said that foolproof security arrangements were in place. Outer security cover to the counting centres/strongrooms of each Assembly segment was being provided by 450 employees of the Punjab Police, while second layer of security around the counting centres/strongrooms was being provided by one platoon of the Punjab Armed Police for each assembly segment, he added.
According to Kumar, inner security cover to strongrooms and counting centres was being provided by one platoon each of paramilitary. CCTV cameras have also been installed for e-surveillance of these centres round the clock.
Meanwhile, a polling day video of an EVM went viral on social media in which it was shown that an EVM was being transported in Phagwara by an officer on election duty. But after an inquiry by the CEO Punjab, it was found that there was no illegal transportation of any EVM, rather it was an extra EVM, which are given to the polling staff in case of any glitch in the EVM, which was being taken for deposit purpose.