Delhi chief minister and AAP supremo kept up his anti-EVM tirade on polling day of the MCD elections, questioning the state election commission over reports of the machines malfunctioning in parts of the capital city.
The state election commission, however, said the election body received 18 complaints of glitches, which was “normal”, and those were rectified soon.
Of the 18 complaints, five were received from north Delhi, eight from south Delhi and five from east Delhi, state election commissioner SK Srivastava said.
Kejriwal alleged that people with voter slips were turned away from polling booths. “Reports from all over Delhi of EVM malfunction, people with voter slips not allowed to vote. What is State EC doing?” tweeted Kejriwal, even as the election evoked a modest response from voters.
Reports from all over Delhi of EVM malfunction, people wid voter slips not allowed to vote. What is SEC doing?— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) April 23, 2017
The Delhi CM retweeted comments of party volunteers, some of whom blamed the low turnout on “doubts” over the machines and cited the example of the presidential election in France on Sunday in which paper ballots were used.
Kejriwal had earlier demanded that the election be postponed till arrangements for VVPAT-equipped EVMs were made. VVPAT (voter-verifiable paper audit trail) machines dispense a slip with the symbol of the party a person has voted for. The slip drops in a box and the voter cannot take it home. Voters can see their slips for seven seconds.
In an interview with HT days ahead of the polls, Kejriwal had said he would continue his fight against EVMs even if his party won the municipal polls.
Saying the complaints against EVMs were not a cause of worry, Srivastava said, “The total number of complaints against EVMs add up to 0.14% of the total machines used in the polls. It is a normal thing. Even in Rajouri Garden assembly by-election EVMs were changed. They can’t be hacked and are certified by the election commission.”
Former Delhi minister and BJP leader Arvinder Singh Lovely also faced EVM problems at his polling booth in East Azad Nagar. “I reached the polling station at 8am. However, I could not vote as the EVM was not working, so I had to leave due to some urgent work. I will go later to cast my vote,” he said.