VVPAT glitches, sporadic violence reported from parts of Rajasthan
JAIPUR: Complaints of slow polling, glitches in Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) and Voter Verified Paper Audit Trails (VVPAT) and sporadic incidents of violence were reported from pockets of Rajasthan on polling day.
There were reports of EVMS developing a snag during the first two hours of polling on Friday. “I came to the polling station at 9.30am and I was able cast my vote only at 11. The staff on poll duty told me the delay was because of VVPAT,” said Rachna Jindal, a voter in Sirsi village.
But Rajasthan’s chief electoral officer (CEO) Anand Kumar denied that there was a problem and said only 0.31% of ballot units and 0.3% of control units were replaced. He also said, during a mock poll, 1.56% of VVPAT machines reported glitches, lower than the percentage of machines changed (3%) during the elections in Madhya Pradesh. VVPAT machines allow a voter to verify their vote by generating and temporarily displaying a paper slip with the name of the candidate and the symbol.
The Congress also blamed faulty EVMS and VVPAT machines for the slow polling. “We received around 400 complaints about EVMS not starting and malfunctioning of VVPAT machines,” said Congress state general secretary Sushil Sharma.
Kumar, however, denied this and said the failure rate of EVMS and VVPATS was much lower than the standard failure rate.
“The complaints filed by the Congress party to the Election Commission indicates that they are going to lose the elections with a big margin,” Pankaj Meena, BJP spokesperson said.
Violence was reported across five districts and at least 10 people were injured, police said. In Churu district, three people were injured when two groups at Khudera Chhota village clashed, police said, adding that a tussle broke out between two groups in Bikaner too. Communal tension gripped Pokaran after two groups pelted stones at each other and also set ablaze some shops.
In Sikar, an argument at a polling centre led to clashes between political workers, disrupting polling for some time. “Both groups claimed fake voters were entering the polling booth to cast votes. As the matter heated up, both started beating up each other,” said Goverdhan Lal Khatik, circle officer, Fatehpur.