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Seal symbol loading units as per SC order, says EC

The SLUs are devices used to load candidates’ party symbols to the Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT).

EVMNEW DELHI: The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Wednesday asked all state chief electoral officers (CEOs) to seal and securely store the symbol loading units (SLUs), to be used in the remaining five phases of the Lok Sabha elections, till 45 days post the declaration of results.

The SLUs are devices used to load candidates’ party symbols to the Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT).

The Supreme Court had in its verdict on electronic voting machines (EVMs) and VVPATs last week, directed the ECI to seal and secure the SLUs for 45 days after the declaration of results. At present, only the EVMs and VVPATs are sealed and stored to allow for examination of the machines if candidates file election petitions.

But from now on, in compliance with the court’s order, SLUs will also be examined, if there is an election petition.

As per sources, the new requirement could lead to a shortage of up to 3,000 SLUs for the last two phases.

Sources said to meet the shortfall, the Election Commission has asked the Bharat Electronics and the Electronics Corporation of India to manufacture more SLUs.

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