BJP, Opposition at EC door over faulty EVMs in bypolls

BJP, Opposition at EC door over faulty EVMs in bypolls

Congress leader RPN Singh (L), Samajwadi Party leader Ramgopal Yadav (C) and Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Ajit Singh come out after a meeting with the Election Commission over the reports of malfunctioning of the EVMs, at Nirvachan Sadan, in New Delhi on Monday. PTI

Opposition parties and the BJP on Monday went knocking on the doors of the Election Commission with complaints of malfunctioning EVMs and paper trail machines in several polling booths in Kairana Lok Sabha and Noorpur Assembly bypolls.

Congress leader R P N Singh, Samajwadi Party leader Ramgopal Yadav and RLD chief Ajit Singh met Election Commission officials.

“There were reports from Kairana Lok Sabha and Nurpur assembly and other places where by-elections are being held that the EVMs have malfunctioned in 100s of places, especially in Kairana, where we have reports of more than over 100s of EVMs malfunctioning,” Congress leader R P N Singh told reporters here.

The multi-party delegation demanded repoll on polling booths where the poll authorities took more than 90 minutes to change the EVMs or VVPAT machines.

“We also demanded that wherever the malfunctioning machines were changed in less than 90 minutes, extra time should be given for the people to cast their votes,” the three leaders said.

Soon after the opposition delegation had left, a BJP team led by General Secretaries Bhupendra Yadav and Arun Singh met EC officials with similar demands.

“We have raised the issue of malfunctioning in EVMs during bypolls,” the BJP leader said.

He said party workers have reported that there was a delay in the response time of the EVMs in some polling booths while the EVMs did not work at all in 197 booths.

Yadav told reporters that they urged the EC to hold repolling in booths were election process was severely affected.

They asked the EC to send observers to identify such booths and also to find out reasons for EVM malfunction.

Concerns were also raised about the functioning of paper trail machines.