Shimla: To ensure the safety of electronic voting machines, a three-tier system is guarding the strong rooms.

Chief Election Commissioner Maneesh Garg informed that CRPF, State armed Police and district executive forces are guarding the strong rooms in all 68 assembly constituencies.

“In the first tier, which is the innermost parameter, was guarded by CAPF armed guards 24×7. For this purpose, a minimum of one platoon of CAPF is deployed to guard the strong rooms round the clock. The second tier was of state armed Police and the third of district executive force,” Garg informed the representatives of the political parties.

Garg said that all contesting candidates can depute their representatives to keep a close watch on the security arrangements of the strong rooms.

“The political party representatives are allowed to stay outside the outermost parameter in the tents erected for the purpose, which would enable them to view the entry points of the strong rooms,” Garg said and further added to provide facilities such as proper shade, drinking water, toilets etc. to them.

“If there is no direct view of the strong rooms, CCTVs would be arranged at such a location that they can see the strong room doors on CCTV,” Garg further added.

He said, if desired, that they can also be taken periodically to the inner parameter of strong rooms in batches, to see and verify the strong room security. A logbook entry will be made by the in-charge Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) for any person entering in inner corridor.

BJP fears EVM tampering by Congress

Earlier, the state BJP had feared EVM tempering by the Congress and even made a written complaint to the Chief Electoral Officer. The BJP had accused Congress workers of trying to gain access to strongrooms.

BJP’s co-convener of the party election cell, Dinesh Chouhan had objected to the raising of tents by the Congress workers outside the strongrooms where electronic voting machines (EVMs) had been stored after polling on November 12 and accused the grand old party of taking advantage of the ECI guidelines.

“On the pretext of guarding, the safety and sanctity of the EVMs can’t be compromised,” Chouhan had written to the Chief Electoral Officer. However, the election commission had nullified the BJP’s apprehension and termed Congress guarding the storeroom within the limits of the law.