The DMK’s Pudukottai district unit on Wednesday complained to District Election Officer P. Uma Maheswari that a paper tag with signatures of booth agents and a polling official was found abandoned.
The unit suspects that the tag got detached from electronic voting machines (EVMs) brought from the Viralimalai Assembly constituency. The party has expressed apprehension that one of the machines may have been replaced.
The paper tag was noticed by DMK cadre after EVMs of the six Assembly constituencies were kept inside strong rooms at the counting centre in the morning, in the presence of the Collector, administration officials and representatives of parties.
It subsequently came to light that the tag belonged to booth number 27 in Mathur area, falling under the Viralimalai constituency.
The Collector and officials told DMK cadre that a mock poll was held in the presence of the agents ahead of the commencement of actual polling, and paper slips collected from the VVPAT device were kept inside a small box and a tag attached on top of it. Official sources said the paper tag accidentally got detached from the box. The officials further explained that the tag had no connection with EVMs.
On getting permission from the Chief Electoral Officer, the strong room where the machines of the Viralimalai constituency were kept was reopened for the DMK members. The machines were found intact, after which the cadre left.