By Nivedita Singh
New Delhi, Feb 10 (IANS) At any given time, at least 10 Aam Aadmi Party volunteers are guarding the strong rooms across the national capital to avoid any mishandling of the EVMs ahead of the counting on Tuesday.
A strong room is the place where the EVMs are kept for the time after the polling is done and before counting takes place.
The Election Commission has established 21 strong rooms across the city to keep the EVMs after the polling for the 70 Assemblies in Delhi completed on Saturday.
Aam Aadmi Party, the outgoing party in power in the Delhi Assembly, has alleged that Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), used for polling on Saturday in Delhi, were being taken away for tampering illegally.
Speaking to IANS, a senior party leader said at least 10 AAP volunteers are guarding the strong rooms across the city all the time by working in shifts.
“There were reports that there can be tampering of the EVMs. Also, we are confident that the results are in our favour and so the party has decided to keep a close watch on the strong rooms. We have deployed at least 10 AAP volunteers and workers outside the strong room to keep a close watch all the time,” the party leader said, demanding anonymity.
A meeting was called by AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal at his residence on the night of February 8 after the polling ended.
The leader said the meeting was called after the party received inputs that the EVMs are not being handled properly.
“The decision of keeping a close eye on the EVMs was taken in the meeting with Kejriwal. Our volunteers are also guarding the strong rooms in night,” the leader added.
The volunteers and party workers are working in shifts to ensure the EVMs are secured.
The 21 strong rooms are situated in nine of the 11 districts of the city.
The districts with two strong rooms are — North, South West, South East, and Shahdara. There is one strong room each in New Delhi, South, East, North East and North West districts.
The party volunteers, guarding the strong room at the Commonwealth Games Village for seven assemblies — Trilokpuri, Kondli, Patparganj, Laxmi Nagar, Vishwas Nagar, Krishna Nagar and Gandhi Nagar, told IANS that they are checking all the vehicles coming and going inside the premises.
“We are scanning the cars coming out and going in the premises. We cannot trust anyone. The opposition can do anything to temper the results,” said one of the volunteers.
Another one said they are also taking breaks in shifts.
“We don’t go for rest or eating collectively. One or two go, while other remains. We are being asked that at least 12-15 are on duty all the time,” said the volunteer, adding that AAP workers have come from different constituencies for guarding.
The security deployed at the strong rooms is multi-layer security including police and paramilitary forces.
The security deployed outside told IANS that the EVMs are kept under CCTV security and the volunteers of different parties can see the footage.
The polling for the 70 Assemblies in Delhi was done on February 8 and the counting will be done on Tuesday.
(Nivedita Singh can be contacted at [email protected])