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EVMs replaced after voters complain of malfunctioning, tampering in first phase of Gujarat assembly election 2017

The Election Commission said technical snag was reported in nearly 40 machines even as Congress Porbandar candidate Arjun Modhwadia claimed the possibility of EVMs getting connected to the mobile phone bluetooth.

assembly elections Updated: Dec 09, 2017 17:33 IST
Hiral Dave, Hindustan Times, Gandhinagar
Gujarat‬,‪Gujarat legislative assembly election,2017
Faulty EVM in Sardar Patel Vidyalaya booth in Surat’s Varaccha has been replaced.(ANI Twitter)

Several electronic voting machines (EVMs) were replaced after complaints of malfunctioning and tampering of these devices surfaced in the first phase of voting in the Gujarat assembly elections on Saturday. (Here are the live updates)

The Election Commission said some malfunctioning EVMs and paper trail machines were replaced from several polling booths in Gujarat, and denied reports that officials had found the machines attached to the internet in some places.

According to information released by the poll panel, 26,865 ballot units and 24,689 control units were deployed for the first phase of voting, of which 0.37% and 0.38% were replaced on account of snags.

Poll panel officials said 1.90% of the 24,689 VVPAT machines were replaced.

Sources in the commission said technical snag was reported in nearly 40 machines.

The Congress’s Porbandar candidate, Arjun Modhwadia, alleged the possibility of EVMs being connected to mobile phones through Bluetooth.

“All the machines got connected through Bluetooth of three mobile phones,” Modhwadia said, reporting his compliant to the poll panel.

Of the 182 constituencies in Gujarat, voting is held in 89 seats spread across 19 districts of Kutch, Saurashtra and the state’s southern region. The second phase is slated for December 14 and results will be declared on December 18.

Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohile, who is contesting from Mandvi, also complained about EVM snags.

“There have been reports of EVMs not functioning properly from some places,” Gohile said, requesting the poll panel to allow more voting time at polling duration where such complaints were reported.

At a booth in Jamkandorna of Jetpur constituency, polling was interrupted for 15 minutes because of a technical problem. State minister Jayesh Radadiya was among the voters and he waited with other people in the queue.

About 33 machines in Rajkot district reported glitches.

Voting began at 8am and chief minister Vijay Rupani, BJP state chief Jitu Vaghani and Congress’s Amreli legislator Paresh Dhanai were among the early voters. They are contesting from Rajkot West, Bhavnagar West and Amreli assembly seats, respectively.

(With inputs from HTC New Delhi)

First Published: Dec 09, 2017 11:32 IST