UP, Maharashtra Bypolls: EVMs hit by heat wave, says EC

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On the reports of malfunctioning of voting machines in the Bypolls of UP and Maharashtra, the Election Commission has said that heat wave across the country is interfering with the voting machines,  and termed the reports as the exaggerated projection of reality.

“EVMS didn’t work due to severe heat conditions, we are taking steps to fix it,” stated the commission while denying that the failure of the voting machines was unusual.

During Lok Sabha and Assembly polls in nine states on May 18, there were allegations of malfunctioning of voting machines (EVMs and VVPATs) in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra constituencies.

Things to know:

Election Commission has denied the reports of polls being canceled in 35 booths in the Bhandara-Gondiya Parliamentary Constituency in Maharashtra

384 VVPATs and about 15-20 EVMs were replaced in Kairana and Noorpur through the day.

25 per cent of the EVMs malfunctioned in the bypoll to Maharashtra’s Bhandara-Gondia Lok Sabha seat

Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav said “In rural areas where we have a vote base, replacement of EVMs was delayed but in urban areas, the malfunctioning voter machines were replaced speedily.

In  Kairana (biggest polling station in Uttar Pradesh), RLD candidate Tabassum Hassan has filed a complaint alleging that around 150 voting machines were malfunctioning. The poll station witnessed slow voting.

Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad reportedly said “They have been doing it for a while now, they do it purposely. They first create a problem with the EVM Machines and then get new ones which already has votes registered. The people have never voted for them. They do it in general elections, by-elections, and assembly elections.”

He further demanded strict action from Election Commission against the BJP.

Former Union Minister in Gondia constituency expressed doubt and questions the reason for bringing EVMs from Surat in Gujarat when they are available in Maharashtra.

Mriganka Singh, BJP candidate from Kairana said “There was massive technical snag in the EVMs and total breakdown of systems. My supporters went back without voting as machines were not working.

Voting has not been cancelled in any booth in 11 Bhandara-Gondiya station, voting was uninterrupted after necessary replacements, confirms EC.

The counting of votes will take place on 31 May.

Election Commission has given an assurance that repoll will be ordered wherever necessary.