VVPAT glitches, spo­radic vi­o­lence re­ported from parts of Ra­jasthan

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - HTNATION - HT Cor­re­spon­dent

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.

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