GUWAHATI, April 29 - Transportation of �unused� EVMs, reportedly from Tezpur to Amingaon last night, has triggered a controversy, with the Congress demanding a clarification from the Election Commission.
Sources said the Election Commission of India has sought a report from the office of the State�s Chief Electoral Officer on the matter.
At least three trucks transported �unused� EVMs and VVPAT machines from Tezpur to a private godown adjacent to the strong room set up at Amingaon last night. As the information spread, Congress supporters staged protests on the premises of the godown.
In a letter to the Election Commission, the Congress said, �It is a known practice that neither the ECI nor the government authorities related to election relies on storage of such sensitive materials on a private premises devoid of security and other systems of checks and balances.�
The usual practice of dispatching faulty/unused EVMs back from duty is only after the same is verified by representatives of all political parties as done when the same is received and made ready for use before polls, the Congress said. �It is confirmed from most of our contesting candidates that they have yet to undertake such an exercise. In the absence of the mandatory provisions, who has allowed the movement of these EVMs?� the party asked.
The Congress also alleged that despite several complaints, the Election Commission did not initiate any action to transfer the incumbent deputy commissioner of Kamrup (R), who is �by birth a resident of the district� and �close to the local MLA�.
The Congress sought an inquiry and fixing of responsibility on those who are found guilty of lapses.
Sources said the office of the Chief Electoral Officer is looking into the matter and verifying if there were any lapses on the part of the officials.