Chennai: The Election Commission on Friday said presiding officers for Tiruchirappali (West) by-polls have to strictly go by its instructions on EVM usage, following "past complaints”, regarding them.
"The Election Commission of India has pointed out that complaints had come in the past that some of the Presiding Officers do not close the EVM by pressing the ‘CLOSE BUTTON’ after the end of poll which can lead to suspicion about manipulation," Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Praveen Kumar said.
He said that the Commission had been issuing various instructions towards free and fair poll "from time to time”.
As part of the instructions, all Presiding Officers should close the EVM by pressing CLOSE button at the end of poll in the presence of all polling agents, he said in a statement.
"All Presiding Officers should draw a line at the end of poll after the last entry in Form 17-A and should record the signed statement thereafter and obtain the signatures of all polling agents," he said.
They should also give an attested copy of the Account of Votes Recorded (in Form 17C) at the end of poll to all such polling agents irrespective of their asking for it or not, he added.
In the first electoral battle in the state after the April 13 Assembly polls, archrivals AIADMK and DMK will face-off in the by-poll which was necessitated following the death of AIADMK minister Mariam Pichai in a road accident.
AIADMK`s M Paranjothi and DMK`s former minister KN Nehru, arrested on landgrab charges, among others are in the fray.