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Sealed voting machines face threat from rodents and seepage in Hardoi, Uttar Pradesh

Hardoi , Sun, 26 Feb 2012 ANI

Hardoi, Feb 26 (ANI): The sealed electronic voting machines (EVMs) that hold the fate of numerous candidates in Uttar Pradesh where the polling has been completed, have to be guarded against a new threat-rodents and seepage.


Panic ensued Uttar Pradesh's Hardoi town on Saturday when security personnel guarding a strong room, where machines used during polling in the Sarojini Nagar and Mohanlalganj constituencies were kept, noticed water seeping out from under the door.


Investigation revealed that an overhead tank atop the building was the cause of the leakage.


"There is a water tank atop this building, where an overflow took place. There is no sign of seepage on the outer walls, there is a little water that went inside. There has been no harm to the EVMs, so there is no cause for worry," said District Magistrate Anil Sagar.


"EVMs are kept 4 inches above the ground in a standing position. The flow of water was very weak, so the machines were not harmed," he added.


The District Magistrate, however, refused entry to the media.


Hardoi had earlier faced a similar scare on Friday, when another strong room was found to be infested with rats.


The strong room is part of a granary, which explains the high numbers of the rodents.eanwhile, Additional District Magistrate Rakesh Mishra said that the locks sealing the EVMs' boxes would be reinforced with steel mesh.


"There are many rats here, which we fear may bite through the seals, so we are wrapping steel mesh to keep the seals safe," Mishra said.


Candidates were livid at the reports of rodents trying to enter the strong room.


"The responsibility rests with the district administration, in case of any EVM being found tampered with at the time of counting, either by rats or anyone else," said Sukhsagar Mishra, a Congress Party candidate.


The Uttar Pradesh polls are being viewed as an opportunity for major political parties to re-establish their foothold in the country's fifth largest and most populous state.


A new 403-member state assembly will be elected in March. The poll results will broadly indicate trends for the 2014 general elections. (ANI)


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