The Election Commission Sunday made it clear to the TDP that it was “not comfortable” collaborating with Hari Prasad Vemuru as a technical expert on improving the functioning of electronic voting machines.
The poll body sent a letter to the Telugu Desam Party’s (TDP) legal cell, asking it to send any other expert in place of Vemuru for discussing EVM-related issues.
“The Commission is always open to all suggestions and the TEC carries out detailed in-depth root cause analysis of any technical glitch reported from the field to make the EVMs more sturdy,” said the letter.
The EC said Vemuru’s name was not in the list of delegates when TDP chief and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu came to meet Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora on Saturday.
During the meeting, the poll body invited Vemuru to interact with the Technical Expert Committee (TEC) chairman Prof Shahani and Deputy Election Commissioner Sudeep Jain, being “oblivious” of his background, which the EC came to know later.
In response to the Commission’s earlier letter, the TDP had on Saturday expressed strong reservation about the poll panel’s approach towards its technology advisor, claiming Vemuru was an internationally renowned expert.
The poll panel, however, said Vemuru was involved in a criminal case regarding alleged theft of an EVM in 2010.
The TDP has maintained that despite passage of several years, no charge-sheet had been filed against Vemuru.
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