EC takes cognizance of VVPAT malfunction, re-poll scheduled for tomorrow
Taking cognizance of the malfunctioned voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines, the Election Commission (EC) today ordered re-polling on May 30 from 7 am to 5 pm. 73 polling stations in Kairana (UP) and 49 polling stations in Bhandara Gondia (Maharashtra) will go for re-polling tomorrow. About 10% of the 10,300 VVPAT machines used across ten states for by-polls yesterday were defective.
EC Chief electoral officer (CEO), L Venkateshwar Lu, said complaints came to light after the polling kicked off at 7 am (yesterday), mostly over dysfunctional VVPATs. In fact, allegations of three malfunctioned EVMs also surfaced. In total, the EC replaced 384 faulty VVPATs. The commission said its officers were investigating whether the fault was technical or the sudden increase in temperature was the cause.
Alleging that first time usage of VVPATs could be responsible for its replacement, the EC yesterday rejected the claims of 'large-scale' failure of EVMs. It said the complaints were "exaggerated." "The replacement of defective EVMs/VVPATs during polls is a normal process and does not vitiate the integrity or credibility of the poll process in any way whatsoever," it said.
Protesting against the faulty EVMs, a delegation of senior leaders from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Samajwadi Party (SP) and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) had submitted a memorandum to the CEO of the Election Commission, following which the EC contemplated on conducting the re-polls.