Mriganka Singh, the BJP’s candidate for Lok Sabha bypolls in Uttar Pradesh’s Kairana, has raised questions on the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) after hundreds of machines were reported to have malfunctioned.
Singh, whose father Hukum Singh won from here in 2014 and represented the seat until his death earlier this year, told reporters, “There’s a lot of anger among voters because the EVMs are not functioning well. The anger was there even among our supporters, who stood in queues in such heat for three hours and could not cast their votes.”
Singh said that the faulty EVMs will cause considerable damage to her poll prospects adding that she had conveyed her resentment to her party’s leadership. She said, “I leave it to God.”
The issue of faulty EVMs dominated the political discourse throughout Monday with opposition and former NDA partners raising questions on its reliability. Anil CDesai of Shiv Sena said, “Technical problems in EVMs&VVPATs clearly indicate failure of EC.If this is the situation in by-polls, think about coming Lok Sabha Elections. We’ve said it again & again & other parties have also agreed,that elections should be conducted using ballot papers.”
Praful Patel of NCP said that former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had called him to say that 300 EVMs were not working in Kairana bypoll. This was after the RLD candidate from Kairana, Tabassum Hasan, too submitted a formal complaint to the Election Commission over malfunctioning of EVMs.
The faulty EVMs also affected the voting in Maharashtra’s Palghar, where the BJP candidate requested the EC to extend the voting time over malfunctioning of the machines.
Bypolls to four Lok Sabha seats including Kairana in Uttar Pradesh and 10 assembly constituencies across 10 states are being held today.
The result in Kairana will be a test case for opposition unity ahead of next year’s Lok Sabha elections. All opposition parties have together to field a united candidate here.
Bypolls are also being held in Maharashtra’s Palghar and Bhandara-Gondiya parliamentary constituencies and a seat in Nagaland.