New Delhi, May 28: Faulty EVMs led to the suspension of voting in at least 35 booths in Bhandara-Gondiya Lok Sabha constituency in Maharastra on Monday even as the Election Commission had some Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT)-EVMs repaired or replaced. Bhandra-Gondiya’s isn’t an isolated case; voting in four Lok Sabha and ten Assembly constituencies in ten states of the country has been marked by faulty machines in various constituencies. (Watch Live Updates of Bypolls Here)Also Read - 'We Want Paper Ballot',TMC MPs Protest Against EVMs Outside Parliament
EVM-VVPATs malfunctioned in polling booths at Khapa, Mandhal, Hingna and Kharbi in Bhandara-Gondiya, besides Tarapur, Shelvali, Kamare, Satpati, Maikhop, Dhuktan, Chinchan and other polling stations in Palghar. According to estimates, complaints of faulty or malfunctioning EVM-VVPATs were received from 140 polling stations in both the constituencies, said ANI. Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh (BBM) president Prakash Ambedkar has demanded cancellation of the elections in Bhandara-Gondiya. “I have received reports of problems in some 450 polling stations. It’s clear that the EVM-VVPATs have been tampered with as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is losing the elections. The entire elections must be cancelled and held afresh,” said Ambedkar, the grandson of Dalit leader BR Ambedkar. Also Read - Supreme Court Declines Urgent Hearing on PIL Filed Against Use of EVMs
In Punjab, one Control Unit at booth number 216 and three VVPAT machines at booth numbers 169, 170 and 222 were replaced during mock poll due to a technical snag in Punjab’s Shahkot assembly. Four VVPATs at booth numbers 27, 28, 132 and 45 replaced during polling in Shahkot. Also Read - 'Baseless And Frivolous': Election Commission Rejects Questions Raised Over Movement of EVMs in Uttar Pradesh
In UP, Kairana Lok Sabha by-poll candidate Tabassum Hasan of Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) has written to the Election Commission over faulty EVMs and VVPATs in around 175 polling booths across Shamli, Kairana and Noorpur. SP leader Ram Gopal Yadav and RLD leader Ajit Singh would be meeting the Election Commission to lodge their complaint against faulty EVMs.
Meanwhile, in Uttarakhand, various political parties have demanded a new EVM after mock poll at a polling booth in Tharali’s Sarpani area due to the same reason. Many political parties have alleged tampering of EVMs in elections.
Reacting to the reports of VVPAT-EVMs failing, NCP leader Praful Patel said, “In many big European nations, election commissions have rejected the EVMs and gone back to ballot paper system. SP leader Akhilesh Yadav ji just called me up, he also said 300 EVMs were not working in Kairana by-poll.”