Punjab polls: In high-profile seats, EC leaves no scope for rivals to complain
The election commission (EC) is not leaving any scope for contestants of high-profile candidates to crib that the polls got rigged or electronic voting machines (EVMs) were tampered.
With installation of voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines in all such constituencies, voters will have the facility to cross-check whether the vote has gone to the same candidate whom they have voted for.
The machine will also store the paper receipts in the machine and the number of votes cast in favour of each candidate could be verified. All polling booths in these constituencies which have already been declared “critical” would have these machines installed.
As Punjab is heading for high-stakes polls with AAP entering into poll fray in the state, the step is seen as an effort to avert controversies which would expectedly erupt after the results are announced.
The machines would be installed in – Lambi, Jalalabad, Majitha and Patiala. From Lambi Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal is sitting MLA and he will most probably contest the same seat again. Aam admi party (AAP) has announced Delhi MLA Jarnail Singh as its candidate from the constituency.
From Jalalabad, deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal is sitting MLA and he is expected to contest the same seat again. AAP has already fielded its Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann from this seat.
On Patiala seat, former CM and PPCC president Capt Amarinder Singh would contest while on Majitha, revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia is contesting.
“All these seats are contentious and everyone would closely watch polling in these high-profile constituencies, so we don’t want to take any chance. Installing these machines in these constituencies would act as an automatic tool for scrutiny,” an additional chief electoral officer rank officer told HT.
Atam Nagar, Guruharsahai, Ferozpur, Anandpur Sahib, Barnala, Sanour, Lehragaga, Jalandhar (central) and Bathinda (urban) would also have these machines installed on all the polling booths.
The 22 constituencies of all district headquarters in state would also have these machines installed.