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Faulty EVMs, ruckus delay counting in DUSU elections

The counting process, scheduled to begin at 8:30am, was delayed by more than one hour due some technical glitch in an EVM. The second hitch occurred around 11:20am, when the display of an EVM malfunctioned. The counting resumed after a gap of 50 minutes when a new display panel arrived.

delhi Updated: Sep 14, 2018 10:09 IST
Fareeha Iftikhar
Fareeha Iftikhar
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
DUSU Election 2018 Results,vote counting of Dusu election 2018,NSUI
Around 1pm, supporters of all political groups — Congress’ student wing NSUI, RSS-affiliated ABVP and the newly formed alliance of Left-backed AISA with Aam Aadmi Party’s youth wing CYSS — started raising slogans against the administration for allegedly ‘tampering’ with the EVMs.(Sushil Kumar/HT Photo)

High drama unfolded at the counting centre for DUSU elections on Thursday, prompting officials to suspend the process for a few hours.

Counting was later resumed amid allegations by students that electronic voting machines were tampered with.

The counting process, scheduled to begin at 8:30am, was delayed by more than one hour due some technical glitch in an EVM. However, the problem was resolved soon. The second hitch occurred around 11:20am, when the display of an EVM malfunctioned. The counting resumed after a gap of 50 minutes when a new display panel arrived.

Around 1pm, supporters of all political groups in the fray — Congress’ student wing NSUI, RSS-affiliated ABVP and the newly formed alliance of Left-backed AISA with Aam Aadmi Party’s youth wing CYSS — started raising slogans against the administration for allegedly ‘tampering’ with the EVMs. The protest was against another halt in the counting process due to an EVM creating ‘confusion’ at a centre at GTB Nagar police line.

The machine, which was set for the post of secretary, showed 40 votes polled against ballot number 10. However, no candidate had been assigned that ballot. By then, six rounds of counting were over and the NSUI was leading on the president and secretary’s post. As soon as the supporters of the student group got to know about faulty EVM, they started shouting slogans and tried to enter the counting room.

At the same time, ABVP supporters also started alleging that the administration had stopped the counting process at the behest of the NSUI. “The NSUI has been trying to halt the counting as they have realised their defeat,” said ABVP’s vice-president candidate Shakti Singh.

Within minutes, candidates of both ABVP and NSUI, along with the former DUSU members of their student groups, barged into the main counting hall despite heavy security arrangements.

Following the ruckus, the election committee announced suspension of polling for the day. The poll commission also accepted that there were some glitches in the EVMs. “We are suspending polling for the day as some issues were spotted in an EVM. The next date of counting will be announced by the evening,” DU’s chief election officer, VK Kaul, announced. The EVMs were sealed.

Afterwards, the administration held a meeting with all candidates and asked them to sign an undertaking stating that they wanted the counting to resume.

“How were the EVMs working fine till last evening when the voting took place? There is some tampering with the machines. We want the results to be announced today,” said NSUI national in-charge Ruchi Gupta.

Counting was resumed for Round Seven at around 5:30 pm.

First Published: Sep 14, 2018 02:52 IST