Lok Sabha elections 2019: EVM problems mar polling in Uttar Pradesh
BJP workers allegedly beat up the presiding officer at a booth in Moradabad over allegations that he pressurised voters to press the button of the Samajwadi Party, whose symbol is the cycleUpdated: Apr 23, 2019 22:52 IST
Despite the mercury soaring, voters in 10 constituencies of Uttar Pradesh voted in the third phase of the general elections on Tuesday. The voter turnout was 61.4%.
Prominent leaders in the fray in UP’s Rohilkhand region — in which seven seats that polled on April 23 fall — included members of Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav’s family, besides senior SP leader Azam Khan, and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidates, Jaya Prada, Varun Gandhi and Santosh Gangwar.
Mulayam Singh Yadav sought re-election from Mainpuri, in what he called his last election, while nephews Dharmendra and Akshay contested from Badaun and Firozabad, respectively. Mulayam’s brother, Shivpal Yadav, who floated his own political party after nephew, Akhilesh Yadav, took over the reins of SP, stood against Akhshay.
The SP is in alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Rashtriya Janata Dal in UP.
Reports of malfunctioning Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) marked polling in the state, which contributes 80 seats to the Lok Sabha. In Bilari, Moradabad, BJP workers allegedly beat up a presiding officer at a booth. The workers alleged that he had asked voters to press the symbol of SP. Similar allegations were levelled against a presiding officer in Etah, leading to his removal.
According to Chief Electoral Officer L Venkateshwarlu, technical problems were detected in three percent of the EVMs/VVPATs and the machines were changed immediately. The EC issued notices to 11 candidates for appealing for votes on social media during the 48-hour restriction before polling.
“The highest percentage of fault (5%) was found in Firozabad,” the CEO said adding that in all the 10 Lok Sabha seats, 412 EVMs and 373 VVPATs were changed during mock poll, while 284 EVMs and 458 VVPATs were changed during voting. “Polling was held at 20,120 polling booths,” he said.
Voters of Muniya Kheda village in Firozabad boycotted the polls stating that no development had taken place there.