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A Congress candidate from West Bengal's Baghmundi Assembly constituency alleged that CCTV cameras relaying video footage of stored electronic voting machines (EVMs) were switched off for more than an hour.
On April 3, Congress candidate from Baghmundi, Nepal Chandra Mahata, wrote a letter to the officer tasked for the conduct of elections in Purulia district. The letter flagged a CCTV camera disruption from 10:05 am to 11:05 am in a strongroom where EVMs were stored.
"I feel most uncomfortable to request you to let me know the reason why the CCTV cameras installed before the strong room at Purulia Polytechnic were stopped for a considerable period of time," he wrote in the letter.
The blackout recurred on Sunday after a complaint was filed by the Congress candidate on Saturday, April 4, reported Scroll.in.
Reacting to the complaint, the Election Commission, on Monday, April 5, said that the disruptions occurred due to a technical glitch.
The Chief Electoral Office of West Bengal said that the screen used to display the closed circuit television camera footage of the EVM strongroom malfunctioned between 10 am and 11.05 am on April 3 and then again between 9.40 am and 10.30 am on April 4.
CCTV cameras were working even when the screen malfunctioned and the candidates were informed about the disruption, the Chief Electoral Office said in a statement.
This controversy around EVM safety comes after Election Commission officials were caught transporting EVM in a vehicle owned by a BJP candidate in Assam's Ratabari constituency on Friday, April 2.
In response, the EC ordered a repoll as well as suspended four officials in connection with the incident.
Voting took place in the Baghmundi constituency in Purulia district on March 27 during the first phase of the West Bengal Assembly elections. The counting of the votes will take place on May 2.
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