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Candidates in UP anxious over safety of sealed EVMs

Lucknow, Sun, 26 Feb 2012 ANI

Lucknow, Feb 26 (ANI): Candidates of various political parties in Uttar Pradesh on Sunday expressed their anxiety over the safety of electronic voting machines (EVMs) after reports of water seeping into the strong-rooms where the machines were kept were brought to light by media.


Candidates of various political outfits gathered outside the District Magistrate's office but were refused to enter inside the building.


The candidates were seen sitting outside the office of district magistrate demanding to see the condition of the EVMs.


Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Vidya Sagar Shukla demanded district administration to allow them to see the condition of EVMs.


"Yesterday evening, when this incident happened after that all of us came here and it was confirmed that water entered in one of the rooms. Later, District Magistrate asked us to come tomorrow that is the reason, today, I have come here but these security officials are not letting me go inside to meet him. I am a legislator since 15 years, I don't now why are they stopping us," said Shukla.


The sealed EVMs that hold the fate of numerous candidates in parts of Uttar Pradesh faced a new threat to their safety.


Panic ensued in Lucknow District on Saturday when security personnel guarding the strong room, where machines used during polling in the Sarojini Nagar andohanlalganj constituencies were kept, noticed water seeping out near the door.


Investigation revealed that an overhead tank atop the building was the cause of the leakage, however, the District Magistrate Anil Sagar, visited the site and ensured that no damage has occurred to the EVM's, as machines are kept in sealed boxes.


Candidates threatened with potential damage to their poll prospects were livid with the reports, saying it could be a part of the state government's strategy.


Another candidate from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Suresh Tiwari cleared that the intention of the protest was to know the actual condition of the voting machines, as the administration had not informed them.


"We have no intentions to protest. We got the information through media that water has entered into the room where our EVM machines are kept. I just want to know that whether those EVM machines are safe or not. Our demand from district administration is to please allow us to see whether our EVM machines are safe or not," said Tiwari.


Uttar Pradesh has voted for five out of seven phases, with the last two phases scheduled for February 28 and March 3 respectively.


The Uttar Pradesh polls are being viewed as an opportunity for major political parties to re-establish their foothold in the country's fifth largest and most populous state. new 403-member state assembly will be elected in March. The poll results will broadly indicate trends for the 2014 general elections. (ANI)


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