NEW DELHI: Former President Pranab Mukherjee, who on Monday backed the Election Commission for successfully conducting the 2019 Lok Sabha election, has said that the onus on ensuring institutional integrity lies with the apex poll panel.
The former president on Tuesday asked the poll panel to ensure the security of the EVMs.
In a statement, the former president expressed concerns over the alleged tampering of voters' verdict and asked the Election Commission do more to address such concerns and put all speculations to rest.
Mukherjee stated that there ''there can be no room for speculation that challenges the very basis of Indian democracy.''
"I am concerned at reports of alleged tampering of voters' verdict. The safety and security of EVMs which are in the custody of ECI is the responsibility of the Commission," Mukherjee said in a statement posted on his Twitter handle.
Former President Pranab Mukherjee issues statement, says ' Onus on ensuring institutional integrity in this case(security of EVMs) lies with the Election Commission, they must do so and put all speculations to rest' pic.twitter.com/2xFIhok7pN
— ANI (@ANI) May 21, 2019
The former president said that ''people's mandate is sacrosanct and has to be above any iota of reasonable doubt.''
While maintaining that he is a ''firm believer in the country's institutions'', he said that it is his considered opinion that it is the 'workmen' who decide how the institutional 'tools' perform.
Remarks from the former President came in the wake of protests in some parts of Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday after videos of alleged movement and tampering of EVMs went viral on social media.
However, the apex poll panel has categorically dismissed the reports as "frivolous" and "unfounded".
Top opposition leaders on Tuesday met the poll panel officials and pressed for their demand of tallying the paper trail of votes (VVPATs) with the EVM figures.
Congress said the EC should take immediate and effective steps to address the complaints of movement of EVMs from strongrooms from various parts of the country.
(With Agency inputs)