EVMs make news on first phase of polling in Bengal; TMC alleges hacking | Kolkata - Hindustan Times
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EVMs make news on first phase of polling in Bengal; TMC alleges hacking

Mar 28, 2021 12:53 AM IST

Till polling ended, the TMC did not lodge any official complaint with the ECI regarding alleged EVM hacking.

As voters from 30 of Bengal’s 294 assembly constituencies cast their votes on Saturday in the first of the eight-phase polling, electronic voting machines (EVMs) made news by drawing criticism from a section of voters and Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders.

West Bengal, March 27 (ANI): A polling officer marks a voter's finger at a polling station of Midnapur town during the first phase of the state legislative assembly election, in West Midnapore on Saturday. (ANI Photo) (ANI)
West Bengal, March 27 (ANI): A polling officer marks a voter's finger at a polling station of Midnapur town during the first phase of the state legislative assembly election, in West Midnapore on Saturday. (ANI Photo) (ANI)

Echoing chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s repeated allegation that the EVMs can be rigged to give the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) an advantage, local TMC supporters at a polling booth in Majna in the Kanthi constituency of East Midnapore alleged that votes in some machines were being registered in favour of the BJP irrespective of whichever button they pressed.

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The election process was stopped for some time in view of the ruckus raised by the TMC workers but the presiding officers informed the Election Commission of India (ECI) office in Kolkata that the allegation was baseless.

Bringing similar charges, TMC workers locked up the gates of Majna Primary School, where a polling booth was set up. They even blocked a road by placing burning car tyres.

TMC candidate and actor Soham Chakraborty, who is contesting from East Midnapore’s Chandipur constituency, tweeted a news clip video showing voters making the same allegation at Kanthi North. The local president officer could be heard telling a news channel that voting had been stopped in view of the chaos.

“Surprisingly, votes seem to be going to @BJP4India whenever a vote is cast for @AITC)fficial!” tweeted Chakraborty.

Banerjee, while addressing her recent rallies, asked party workers to guard the facilities where the EVMs will be kept after polling. She said the machines can be hacked to make the BJP win. “If you are offered biryani while guarding these places don’t have it. There can be sleeping pills, drugs or poison in that food to make you fall asleep. If policemen from other states ask you to leave, tell them you are guarding the EVMs just like they are doing their duty,” Banerjee recently said at Para in Purulia.

BJP Bengal unit vice-president Jay Prakash Majumdar said, “All parties alleged in the past that EVMs can be hacked but when the ECI invited them three years ago to prove it only the CPI(M) and the Nationalist Congress Party responded. But both parties said they do not have the expertise to prove their allegation.”

ECI officials in Kolkata said the allegations made during the day were baseless but admitted that in one or two places the machines did not start property and had to be replaced.

Till polling ended the TMC did not lodge any official complaint with the ECI regarding alleged EVM hacking.

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