Faulty EVMs in Gujarat Being Replaced Immediately, Says Poll Commission

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Faulty EVMs in Gujarat Being Replaced Immediately, Says Poll Commission

Posted on : Saturday 9th of December 2017

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AHMEDABAD:  More than 70 Electronic Voting Machines failed to function in Gujarat, where assembly elections are being held for the first phase today. The machines were spread across 16 seats of Surat's urban and rural seats, dominated by small traders and the Patidar community, which, the opposition Congress says, are disenchanted with the BJP. The Election Commission said the faulty machines have been replaced immediately.

Tinkering of EVMs have been a huge grouch of the opposition after the BJP's sweeping victory in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand in the last round of assembly polls earlier this year. In the run-up to the elections in Gujarat, the Congress had made no bones about its concerns.

The party, which earlier suggested placing cellphone jammers outside rooms where EVMs would be kept, have deployed a team of three lawyers and experts for every constituency. Normally it deploys one such team in Ahmedabad.

"There are 24,000 polling booths in Gujarat. The problem has occurred in 7 or 8 booths," Chief Election Commissioner Achal Kumar Jyoti told NDTV. "We have a number of EVMs in reserve. Concerned officials keeping continuous check," he said.

Altogether, 4,397 Electronic Voting Machines have been deployed across 19 districts, where 89 seats are up for grab. The Election Commission said the machines were tamper-proof and adequate security measures have been taken to guard them.

Earlier this year, Mayawati, whose party had got steamrolled in Uttar Pradesh, had alleged that the BJP victory had been made possible through mass-scale rigging. Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party, which had lost in Punjab, had echoed the allegations.

Denying the accusations, the Election Commission had issued a challenge asking anyone to hack the machines in what it called a "hackathon", but there were no takers for it.

The allegations of tampering surfaced again after the local body elections in Meerut and Kanpur last month, which too, were won by the BJP.  The Election Commission said those were instances of malfunction, not tampering, and the machines had been replaced.

Courtesy : NDTV

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