The NCP had earlier asked the Election Commission to install jammers at polling stations and strong rooms.
Mumbai: The Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has written to chief electoral officer Baldev Singh demanding a ban on Internet services within a three-kilometre radius of every polling booth and strong room until the end of counting process.
Over eight crore voters across 288 Assembly constituencies in the state will elect the members of the 14th legislative Assembly on Monday. The counting of votes will take place on October 24.
“There is suspicion among the people of Maharashtra that Electorinic Voting Machines (EVMs) and Voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPATs) can be hacked and that the votes go in favour of candidates whom they did not vote for. Hacking is possible and can be done by professional hackers using mobile Internet. To avoid such a criminal activity from taking place, we request you to order a ban on Internet services within a three-kilometre radius of every poll booth and strong room. The Internet service should be stopped from the time voting begins (October 21), until the end of the counting process (October 24),” the letter read.
When asked why the letter was written at the eleventh hour, Maharashtra NCP general secretary Shivajirao Garje told The Asian Age, “We have already asked the Election Commission to install jammers at polling stations and strong rooms when their officials had arrived in Maharashtra to review the preparations. But they did not acted on our suggestions. Therefore, we have written this letter to the CEO of Maharashtra.”
When The Asian Age tried to contact the Maharashtra CEO, he did not respond to our message.
However, Additional Chief Electoral Officer Dilip Shinde denied any plan to ban internet services. “There is no need for banning internet as the EVMs are standalone machines and can’t be tampered,” he said.