News By/Courtesy: Sharad Agnihotri | 01 May 2019 9:16am IST

Incidents of EVM malfunctioning surfaced again and delayed the voting process by some hours in many Lok Sabha constituencies as the fourth phase commences. Apart from the technical glitches in voting machines, blatant violation of Model Code of Conduct by party workers and candidates also disrupted the polling process in several states.

 In Uttar Pradesh, voting stopped for at least an hour due to EVM malfunctions at booth 374 in Rasoolabad of Kanpur Dehat. Similar incidents were reported from other areas as well. Senior Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Arvind Kumar Singh wrote a letter to the Election Commission apprising it about a defunct EVM at booth 175 in Kannauj. As many as 127 complaints of faulty EVMs were registered in the earlier part of the day at the helpline started by Congress in Rajasthan, which kept increasing until voting came to a close. Voting was delayed by half an hour at booth number 98 in Jalore and by one hour at booth number 130 of Raniwada due to EVM malfunction. The EVM malfunctioning not only troubled voters in the morning, but also towards the end of the voting time. In Pali Lok Sabha constituency’s booth number 156 in Vinayakpura, the EVM developed a technical snag which resulted in delay in polling. Even after a lot of struggle, election officials could not fix the problem and had to later change the machine.

Polling was delayed in various booths in Odisha due to problems with EVMs in Rajasthan's Barmer. According to sources, polling was delayed at booth numbers 71, 183, 198 and 220 in Bhandaripokhari Assembly constituency, booth numbers 222, 244, 245, 54 and 243 under Dhamnagar Assembly segment, booth numbers 2, 46, 208 and 50 of Soro Assembly constituency, booth numbers 119, 109 and 110 of Simulia, booth numbers 69, 114 and 116 of Basudevpur, Chandbali, and booth numbers 216, 14 and 239 in the Bhadrak Lok Sabha seat due to EVM glitches. Voting was delayed due to EVM glitches in Kakatpur, Nimapara, Paradip and Balikuda-Erasama Assembly segments under Jagatsinghpur Lok Sabha seat, Dharmasala and Bari under Jajpur Lok Sabha constituency, Kendrapara, Aul, Mahanga and Rajnagar under Kendrapara Lok Sabha constituency, while voters in Mayurbhanj Lok Sabha seat faced similar problems as EVM glitches were reported at several booths in Baripada, Bangiriposi, Badasahi, and Saraskana Assembly constituencies. In West Bengal, Babul Supriyo who is BJP’s candidate from Asansol LS constituency, alleged mass booth rigging in Jamuria Assembly booth numbers 171, 199, 223, 224. Many women in Asansol's Barabani alleged that they were not allowed to cast their vote despite having entered the polling booth. In Jharkhand, around 50 names were found missing from voters' list at the Girls Middle School in Sisai, part of Lohardaga Lok Sabha constituency. Iltap Hussain and Majeed Khan are among the two in the list who had voted earlier, but find their names missing in this year’s lists. Income Tax officials in the state raided the AK International Hotel in the presence of DDC Vijay Jadhav and SDO Megha Bharadwaj at 3 am this morning and seized 16 lakh from the room of Gopal Sahu, who is the Congress candidate from Hazaribagh. Hazaribagh goes for polling in the fifth phase of the election on 6 May.

The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) wrote to Chief Electoral Officer Odisha over alleged "booth capturing by BJP". The letter stated, "BJP goons conducted booth capturing in 12 booths of Bari Assembly constituency under Jajpur parliamentary constituency while the polling was going on today." In West Bengal, the EC ordered the police to register FIRs against BJP candidates Dudh Kumar Mondal and Kalyan Chaubey for speaking on the phone inside polling booths. Mondal and Chaubey are fighting from Birbhum and Krishnanagar Lok Sabha constituencies respectively. The two leaders have also been accused of rigging votes.The EC has issued a show-cause notice to Mondal in this regard. Baharampur sitting MP and Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury reportedly caught an outsider inside the polling booth no. 122. As soon as he spotted the man, the man was gheraoed by Congress supporters and a clash broke out. No police or central force personnel were present at the booth. 

Chohtan police in Barmer Lok Sabha constituency in Rajasthan has lodged a case against 10 people who tried to cast fake votes. Circle officer Ajeet Singh confirmed the report. Police said that polling agent Mula Ram had lodged a case against 10 people who forced him to allow fake voting at Sherpura polling station under Chohtan police station area in Barmer. He alleged that when he protested against the fake voting, the accused beat him up. On basis of the complaint, police have lodged the case under Sections 143, 341, 323, 452, 365 and 511 of the IPC. A TMC polling agent, Subodh Ruidas, was seen voting for women voters at booth number 136 in Natundanga High School, part of Bardhaman–Durgapur Lok Sabha constituency. Speaking to reporters at the Kolkata airport, Special Observer from the EC, Ajay Nayak, said that if a re-election is needed, it will be “considered”. On being asked about the incidents of violence and firing, he said he is “looking into the matter”.

Section Editor: Shreyashi Tiwari | 01 May 2019 9:28am IST

Tags : #Voting #Phase_4 #Lok_Sabha #Elections #EVM #Glitches

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