The Congress in Bihar has alleged that there was a large-scale EVM fraud in favour of the BJP candidate in one of the seats taht went for bypolls on Sunday.
Bihar Pradesh Committee acting president Kaukab Qadri alleged that as many as 137 EVMs were found to be faulty Bhabua assembly constituency. Qadri said that the EVM malfunctioning allegedly took place in predominantly Muslim and Dalit areas. He said that that his party will approach the Election Commission demanding repolls where the EVMs had been found to be faulty.
When contacted, Kaimur’s District Magistrate, Rajeshwar Prasad Singh, told Janta Ka Reporter that only 25 machines had been found to malfunction. He said, “We received the complaints of VVPAT machines not functioning properly at 25 booths. We were quick to fix those machines. There’s absolutely no truth in the Congress leader’s allegations.”
Although the local media in Bihar have claimed that the EC had agreed to conduct fresh polls in some parts of Bhabua constituency, Kaimur DM expressed his ignorance adding that he had not heard anything from the EC. Bhabhua constituency falls under Kaimur district of Bihar.
Bihar’s Chief Electoral Officer Ajay V Nayak has been quoted by PTI saying that EVM faults were reported from at least three places in Bhabua on Sunday.
Bhabua was won by the BJP in 2015 assembly polls. The saffron party has now fielded Rinki Rani Pandey, the widow of Anand Bhushan Pandey from here. The Congress, on the other hand, has fielded a kurmi (Chief Minister Ntish Kumar’s caste) candidate in Shambu Nath Patel.
Also going to polls on Sunday was Jehanabad constituency, where the election was necessitated due to the death of RJD lawmaker Mundrika Singh Yadav. His son Uday Yadav is pitted against the JD(U)’s Abhiram Sharma.
Bihar also witnessed the bypolls for Araria Lok Sabha elections. In 2014, the RJD’s Mohammed Taslimuddin had defeated BJP’s sitting MP Pradeep Kumar Singh. An otherwise BJP stronghold, the RJD has fielded Taslimuddin’s son, Sarfaraz Alam from here.
The counting is scheduled to take place on 14 March, when the results will determine whether the Bihar chief minister continues to remain as popular as he was before dumping the Congress and the RJD to switch alliance in favour of the BJP. The BJP and Kumar’s JDU were locked in bitter fight in 2015 assembly polls.