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Congress demands CCTV feed from strongrooms for candidates

Congress demands CCTV feed from strongrooms for candidates
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Guwahati: The Congress on Wednesday demanded that CCTV feed from strongrooms across Assam be made available to candidates, the state Congress chief said.

Assam Congress president Ripun Bora has written a letter to the state Chief Electoral Officer Nitin Khade seeking access to CCTV feeds from strongrooms, where Electronic Voting Machines are kept, to make the process more transparent.

The Congress also accused the Election Commission of acting "as per instructions of the BJP".

"After the second phase of the Assembly polls, when many issues relating to EVMs had surfaced, the EC had assured us that no such incident would happen in the third phase. But we are getting reports of people detecting EVMs being transported in private vehicles even during the third phase of polls yesterday.

"We thought the EC would learn from its mistakes, but we were wrong. It proves that the EC functions as per the instructions of the BJP. It is not neutral," Bora told a press conference here.

The poll body should clarify under what circumstances the EVMs were being transported by election officials without security personnel at several places while voting was underway, Bora said.

"Today, we've written a letter to the CEO seeking link of CCTV surveillance of the strong rooms for the candidates," the Rajya Sabha MP said.

Bora also expressed unhappiness over "inaction" by the EC on the complaints filed by Congress and other opposition parties against the BJP.

Talking about the poll prospects, the state Congress chief said the Opposition's Grand Alliance will win over 100 seats out of 126 as per "independent" surveys done by some agencies.

Union Home minister Amit Shah had on April 2 sought an inquiry by the Election Commission after a row erupted over a polling team in Assam being found carrying an EVM in the vehicle belonging to the wife of a BJP candidate.

Taking cognizance of the controversy, the poll panel had suspended the presiding officer of the polling station, where the EVM was balloted, and three other officials on April 2.

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