Re-polling in Maha’s Bhandara-Gondia: Process smooth, 35% turnout in 49 booths so far
Around 35% of voters had exercised their franchise by Wednesday afternoon in Maharashtra’s Bhandara-Gondia constituency, where re-polling was held in 49 polling booths.
After 411 Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPATs) malfunctioned during the Lok Sabha by-elections held on Monday, the Election Commission of India announced re-polls in all booths where the voting process was disrupted for more than two hours.
On Wednesday, re-polling was held in 49 booths in Sakoli, Bhandara, Gondia, Arjuni and Moregaon in Maharashtra. The polling percentage is expected to improve in the Bhandara-Gondia constituency, which recorded 53.15% voting on Monday.
“To ensure hassle-free polls, we dispatched 200 VVPATs from Sangli, where the Congress candidate in the Assembly bypolls was declared unopposed, and another 300 from Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. “The VVPATs from Sangli did not reach on time, but machines from the neighbouring states were used. This time, no EVM or VVPATs malfunctioned. At a couple of polling stations, the battery had to be replaced, and that was done within minutes,” said an ECI official, requesting anonymity. “The polls are underway peacefully.”
The bypolls were necessitated after sitting Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Nana Patole resigned from the party in December 2017. Now, the BJP has fielded Hemant Patle against the Nationalist Congress Party-Congress candidate Madhukar Kukde.