EC acts after complaints over EVMs.
New Delhi: Taking cognisance of several complaints about the malfunctioning of electronic voting machines at various booths during the byelections on Monday, the Election Commission on Tuesday announced a repoll in 73 polling stations in Uttar Pradesh’s Kairana, 49 polling stations in Maha-rashtra’s Bhandara-Gondia and one polling station in Nagaland, after the VVPAT machines had developed snags. The repoll will be held from 7 am to 6 pm on Wednesday, official sources said.
The EC has ordered the transfer of the Gondia collector for “dereliction of duty”, a top poll panel official said, adding that the new collector has assumed charge.
Notifications for the repoll have been issued in Lucknow, Kohima and Mumbai.
Over 11 per cent of the 10,300 voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines across 10 states had developed faults and had to be replaced on Monday.
The Opposition as well as the ruling BJP had alleged that the EVMs at several polling booths in Kairana were faulty and that could have a bearing on the free and fair outcome of the byelection.
Repolling will be held in 23 polling stations at Nakud, 44 in Gangoh and one at Thana Bhawan in Saharanpur and five in Shamli.The EC had sought a report from chief electoral officer L. Venkateshwar Lu as well as the returning officers of the Kairana and Noorpur seats. The polling officers changed 384 VVPATs after the faults came to light during the voting. The officers were examining if the faults were technical or due to a sudden increase in temperature. Similarly, there were reports about three EVMs malfunctioning.
The chief election commissioner had been briefed about the faults in VVPATs, the chief electoral officer said. A delegation of the Samajwadi Party, Rashtriya Lok Dal and the BJP, led by senior leaders, had submitted a memorandum to CEO to protest against the faults in the EVMs and disruption in polling. Mr Venkateshwar Lu said the Election Commission had taken cognisance of the memorandum of the three parties. The commission has already dispatched 500 VVPATs for the repolling, he added.