In a shocking development, a news website has claimed that it found a mismatch in EVM vote counts in more than 370 seats that went to polls in the just-concluded Lok Sabha polls.
A report by the news website The Quint claimed that its investigation had found ‘serious discrepancies’ in 373 constituencies that went to polls in the first four phases of the election. The website said it did not delve into vote counts of the last three phases of the parliamentary elections.
What’s even more serious is that the Election Commission, according to the website, removed the data from its website eciresults.nic.in after the news portal contacted the national poll body seeking clarifications.
Constituencies where the mismatch were found included Tamil Nadu’s Kancheepuram, Dharmapuri and Sriperumbudur and Mathura in Uttar Pradesh. These four seats recorded the highest number of mismatch in votes. BJP’s Hema Malini won from the Mathura parliamentary seat. Bihar’s Aurangabad seat too allegedly reported a mismatch in EVM votes.
The website reported, “Early on 27 May, The Quint had emailed the EC questions on the discrepancies in all 373 constituencies. An EC officer even contacted us saying that they will send a reply soon. By afternoon, on the same day, we found that the ticker mentioning “final voter turnout” mysteriously disappeared from the EC’s website eciresults.nic.in.”
Former Election Commission OP Rawat was quoted as saying, “Prima facie, it appears to be a serious issue. I am not aware of any such occurrence (where votes polled didn’t match with votes counted) in the past, that is, during my tenure as chief election commissioner.”
Reacting to the story, the Congress wrote, “Elections are the one chance the people have to hold govts accountable, people should have confidence in the system. There has been a consistent mismatch between the number of votes cast & the EVM vote count, the EC must explain these discrepancies.”
Elections are the one chance the people have to hold govts accountable, people should have confidence in the system. There has been a consistent mismatch between the number of votes cast & the EVM vote count, the EC must explain these discrepancieshttps://t.co/ILm7kuUsdl
— Congress (@INCIndia) May 31, 2019
This comes just days after another news website, Newsclick, alleged that it had unearthed phantom votes in its investigation. In other words, the votes counted in EVMs were more than the number of voters cast in those constituencies.
The website had highlighted three high-profile constituencies in Bihar namely Patna Sahib, Jehanabad and Begusarai and two constituencies in Uttar Pradesh as part of its findings. “In Jehanabad, the votes polled are in excess of the votes counted by 23,079. That is, it seems that this number of votes have not been accounted for. The margin of victory of the Janata Dal-United candidate in this seat was just 1,751 votes over the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) rival indicating that the result could have changed had the unaccounted votes been counted,” it reported.