Rajasthan by-poll: Voter says he pressed button for Congress, but it was ‘lotus’ on VVPAT paper

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More complaints of EVMs favouring BJP even though the button pressed was for other parties have emerged. This time the complaint has come from Rajasthan, where by-election was held on Sunday for Dholpur assembly seat.

rajasthan evms

Quoting a report by Aaj Tak channel, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal once again asked why faulty EVMs were only favouring BJP.

He wrote, ‘Why defectiv EVMs voting only BJP? They not “defective”. Their software changed. Let EC give us one of these EVM, we’ll prove they r tamperd (sic)”

His another tweet said, “Will the MCD polls be neutral? Why does not the EC probe these machines? What is the point of polls in a situation like this?

According to reports, a voter in Dholpur on Sunday complained that he had cast his vote in favour of Congress but the printout coming out of VVPAT machine showed the vote had gone to the BJP.

The returning officer of the Election Commission told Aaj Tak that one voter, Rakesh Jain, had reported the faulty machine. This prompted the officers deployed at the polling booth to stop the poll for at least two hours. This led to loud protests by Congress supporters.

There were reports of EVMs malfunctioning at over dozen polling booths.

Sunday’s development came after similar complaint was reported from Madhya Pardesh’s Bhind district, which during an inspection, it was found that an EVM machine with VVPAT attached, was favouring the BJP.

Earlier, Kejriwal had claimed that EVMs were being brought from Uttar Pradesh to conduct the polls, a charge the State Election Commission had rejected.

With the Opposition’s questions on the reliability of the electronic voting machines getting louder, the Commission has come out with a list of ‘frequently asked questions’ to put across its views in public domain.

Meanwhile, Rajasthan Congress president Sachin Pilot today expressed confidence of his partys win in high- stakes Dholpur assembly by-election, saying people have voted against the ruling BJP and for the alternative in Congress.

Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje has rendered the election a high profile by campaigning there vigorously for days besides getting most of her ministers to canvass intensively in her home turf.

Pilot too matched her by holding over 200 public meetings and spending over 18 days in the backward region as a win for the Congress will be a big boost to the opposition party ahead of the state assembly polls later next year.

The Congress had suffered a rout in 2012 assembly polls and then complete decimation in 2014 Lok Sabha elections, when it did not win a single seat out of 25, but is seen to have recovered some ground under Pilot who led the party to a good show in local elections.

A win in the by-poll will be a big boost to him, observers say.

“I am confident of a Congress win in the election. People have voted for strengthening the alternative in the Congress and against the BJP government,” he told PTI.

The by-election was necessitated following disqualification of BSP MLA B L Kushwaha in a murder case and the BJP surprised observers by pitting his wife Shobha Rani as its candidate against Congress veteran Banwari Lal Sharma.

The campaigning was marred by trading of allegations between the two parties with the opposition party repeatedly going to the Election Commission against the alleged misuse of the official machinery by the state government.

The EC had ordered the transfer of Kushwaha from Dholpur Jail to Ganganagar after the Congress complained that he was virtually canvassing for the BJP from jail.

Rajes decision to stay in back Dholpur even after the campaigning was over because of “health reasons” prompted Pilot to accuse her of trying influence voters. All star campaigners, except for local voters, are mandated to leave a constituency once campaigning is over.

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