Popular Patidar leader Hardik Patel has asked if the accident involving truck with EVMs and VVPAT machines in Gujarat was linked to the demands for recounting of votes in the state, where the election process was recently concluded.
Taking to Twitter, Hardik said, “A truck full of EVMs overturns soon after we demanded the recounting. What do we call this accident?”
रिकाउंटिंग की मांग उठते ही EVM भरी ट्रक पलटी,इस कांड को कया नाम दे?? pic.twitter.com/qAw75cpfli
— Hardik Patel (@HardikPatel_) December 21, 2017
His tweet came after a truck carrying around 100 Electronic Voting Machines and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail units had met with accident near Bharuch in Gujarat on Thursday. EVMs and VVPAT machines were seen scattered all over the place at the site of the accident.
Inspector RK Ladva of Bharuch tehsil police said that the cops had taken control of all the machines. “Three labourers in the truck were injured. The truck was carrying various components of EVMs, including 103 VVPATs, 92 Ballot Units and 93 Control Units. Injured labourers are out of danger,” he was quoted as saying.
Ladva said that the police will assess the damage caused to EVMs, VVPAT, and Ballot Units and report back to the Election Commission.
Three labourers in the truck were injured in the accident, police said.
Bharuch district Collector Sandip Sagale clarified that the EVMs and VVPAT units were being transported from Jambusar to a warehouse in Bharuch town.
He claimed that these units hadn’t been used during the recently-concluded Assembly elections, as they were in reserve (meant to be used if any other EVM malfunctioned) for Jambusar constituency of Bharuch where polling was held on 9 December.
The role of EVMs has come under intense scrutiny particularly after the Chief Electoral Officer of Gujarat, BB Swain, sensationally admitted that his team had found a mismatch of votes between EVMs and VVPAT on four of the 182 booths that the EC had chosen to randomly test the authenticity of the vote count.
The suspicion gained momentum in light of the close results at least on 16 seats, where the margin of victory was less than 3,000 votes in the just-concluded Gujarat elections.
The BJP had won 99 seats, 16 down since 2012, while a resurgent Congress had increased its tally to an impressive 80, 19 more than what the party won five years ago.