THE ELECTION Commission (EC) wrote to the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) again on Sunday reiterating its discomfort in interacting with Hari Prasad Vemuru, who had been arrested in 2010 following an attempt to prove that Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) can be tampered.
The EC’s second letter was in response to the TDP’s letter on Saturday in which the party said the poll panel was using Prasad’s presence to avoid addressing the real issues and complaints about voting machines. The TDP had also said that there is no chargesheet against Prasad even nine years after the FIR was filed against him.
“The Commission is always open to all suggestions and the TEC (Technical Expert Committee) carries out detailed in-depth root cause analysis of any technical glitch reported from the field to make the EVMs more sturdy. If you may like to send any other expert, you may kindly send as the Commission is not comfortable in interacting with Shri Hari Prasad Vemuru, as already communicated in the above referred letter,” stated the EC letter on Sunday.
The letter also pointed that the list of delegates shared by the party for the meeting held on Saturday did not have Prasad’s name.
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The controversy over Prasad’s presence in the TDP delegation started when Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu approached the Commission on Saturday afternoon to express concerns over the malfunctioning of EVMs in the first phase of elections, among other things. During the meeting, the Commission permitted the TDP to send a few members of the delegation to meet Deputy Election Commissioner Sudeep Jain and Professor D T Sahani, chairman of the TEC.
The evening meeting, however, was called off after the Commission objected to the presence of Prasad in the delegation. Prasad had managed to get an EVM in 2010 and demonstrated its supposed vulnerability to tampering in a video. He was later arrested on charges of stealing an EVM.