Former president Pranab Mukherjee is 'concerned' over allegations of EVM tampering

New Delhi, May 21: Former President Pranab Mukherjee today expressed concern at allegations of electronic voting machines tampering and said the "onus of ensuring institutional integrity" lies with the Election Commission.

"The safety and security of EVMs which are in the custody of the EC is the responsibility of the Commission," Pranab Mukherjee said in a statement.A series of video clips have surfaced, which, opposition parties say, prove that EVMs are being tampered with or being transported in private cars in parts of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab and Haryana.

"There can be no room for speculation that challenges the very basis of our democracy. People's mandate is sacrosanct and has to be above any iota of reasonable doubt," said the former president.

"A firm believer in our institutions, it is my considered opinion that it is the 'workmen' who decide how the institutional 'tools' perform," he added.

Pranab Mukherjee had earlier lauded the role of the Election Commission saying the 2019 Lok Sabha polls were conducted perfectly.

Speaking at a book launch event in New Delhi yesterday, he said that right from the first election commissioner Sukumar Sen to the present election commissioners, the institution is working very well. Mr Mukherjee said all the three commissioners are appointed by the executive and they are doing their job well.

 His remarks come a day after Congress president Rahul Gandhi alleged that the Election Commission's capitulation before Prime Minister Narendra Modi is obvious and the poll watchdog is not feared and respected anymore.