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Monday, July 15, 2024

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EVM unlocking

Photo Credit: ANI

No OTP needed to unlock EVM’s : The Returning Officer of Mumbai North West Parliamentary Constituency, Vandana Suryavanshi, strongly refuted claims made by a Mumbai-based newspaper regarding the alleged use of mobile phones to manipulate Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) during the recent elections in Maharashtra’s Goregaon. The newspaper had reported that a relative of Shiv Sena leader Ravindra Waikar was found with a mobile phone inside a counting center, purportedly used to generate OTPs and unlock EVMs.

In a press conference on Sunday, Suryavanshi clarified that EVMs do not require OTPs for unlocking, emphasizing that they are non-programmable devices without any wireless communication capabilities. She dismissed the newspaper’s allegations as false and accused it of spreading misinformation to create a misleading narrative.

Addressing the specific incident at the counting center, Suryavanshi revealed that an unauthorized person, allegedly an aide of a candidate, had illicitly used the mobile phone of an authorized individual. She confirmed that a criminal case had been filed in response to the incident.

Highlighting the security measures in place for EVMs, Suryavanshi stressed their stand-alone nature without wired or wireless connectivity to external systems. She assured that advanced technical features and stringent administrative safeguards prevent any manipulation. All procedures, including the counting of Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System (ETPBS) and traditional postal ballots, are conducted transparently in the presence of candidates or their representatives, with each counting sheet meticulously verified and signed by all agents involved.

Regarding the legal actions taken, Suryavanshi mentioned that the newspaper responsible for spreading rumors undermining the electoral process is facing legal consequences.

Earlier in the day, an FIR was lodged against Mangesh Pandilkar, the aforementioned relative of Ravindra Waikar, and Dinesh Gurav, a polling personnel operating the Encore system. The Vanrai Police Station initiated an investigation, examining CCTV footage from the Nesco Center to determine how the mobile phone entered the premises and identify any additional suspects involved.

Notably, the election in Mumbai North-West saw a tight contest between factions of the Shiv Sena, with Ravindra Waikar emerging victorious by a slim margin of 48 votes over his opponent, Amol Kirtikar, backed by Uddhav Thackeray’s faction. The outcome underscores the intensity of the electoral battle in the region.

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