VVPAT glitches, spo­radic vi­o­lence re­ported from parts of Ra­jasthan

Hindustan Times (Gurugram) - - Nation - Let­[email protected]­dus­tan­times.com Monika Pandey

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.

Mad­hya Pradesh high court dis­missed Fri­day a pe­ti­tion filed by a Congress leader al­leg­ing lack of suf­fi­cient se­cu­rity ar­range­ments for elec­tronic vot­ing ma­chines (EVMs) and voter ver­i­fi­able pa­per au­dit trail (VVPAT) ma­chines used dur­ing the as­sem­bly elec­tions on Novem­ber 28. The pe­ti­tion was filed by former Congress MLA Naresh Saraf.

The bench of chief jus­tice SK Seth and jus­tice Vi­jay Ku­mar Shukla said in its judg­ment that a care­ful read­ing of re­ports sub­mit­ted by the chief elec­toral of­fi­cer of Mad­hya Pradesh to the Elec­tion Com­mis­sion showed the strong rooms for stor­ing polled EVMs, VVPATs and ware­houses for un­used, re­served EVMs and VVPATs were sep­a­rate build­ings with sep­a­rate se­cu­rity ar­range­ments. The bench said, “The strong room with polled EVMs/ VVPATs were sealed im­me­di­ately after poll to be opened on the day of count­ing on De­cem­ber 11. These strong rooms are un­der the se­cu­rity of cen­tral armed paramil­i­tary forces with a triple cor­don of se­cu­rity.” Dis­miss­ing the pe­ti­tion the bench said no fur­ther ac­tion was re­quired. State Congress spokesper­son Pankaj Chaturvedi said, “We will look into the judg­ment and file an ap­peal be­fore the court, if it is re­quired.”

State BJP spokesper­son Ra­jneesh Agrawal said, “The judg­ment has en­dorsed our view that the Congress is rais­ing the is­sue of EVM and its se­cu­rity to have an ex­cuse in face of its de­feat in the state as­sem­bly elec­tions.”

The EC has re­peat­edly de­nied the charges and as­serted there was ad­e­quate se­cu­rity out­side strong rooms.


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