Pranab Mukherjee. (Photographer: Namas Bhojani/Bloomberg)

Election 2019: Concerned Over Reports Of Alleged Tampering Of Voters’ Verdict, Says Pranab Mukherjee

Joining the ongoing controversy over electronic voting machines, former President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday expressed concern over the alleged tampering of voters' verdict saying the onus of ensuring institutional integrity lies with the Election Commission, which should put all speculation to rest.

He also said there can be no room for speculation that challenge the very basis of Indian democracy.

"I am concerned at reports of alleged tampering of voters' verdict,” he said in a statement posted on his Twitter handle. “The safety and security of EVMs which are in the custody of Election Commission of India is the responsibility of the Commission.”

People's mandate is sacrosanct and has to be above any iota of reasonable doubt, he said.

Mukherjee said as a firm believer in the country's institutions, it is his considered opinion that it is the 'workmen' who decide how the institutional 'tools' perform.

Protests broke out in parts of Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday after videos of alleged movement and tampering of EVMs went viral on social media, a charge dismissed by the Commission as "frivolous" and "unfounded".

The Congress said the Election Commission should take immediate and effective steps to address the complaints of movement of EVMs from strongrooms from various parts of the country.

Top opposition leaders, who met here on Tuesday, also decided to move the Election Commission to press for their demand of tallying the paper trail of votes (voter-verified paper audit trail) with the EVM figures.