In a shocking development, the BJP received 17 votes from its quota of 9 votes in an EVM in Goa just before the polling began for the third phase of Lok Sabha elections. Goa’s AAP chief Elvis Gomes took to Twitter to announce how during the mock polling, the BJP had received 17 votes even though each of the six candidates had only nine votes allotted to them.
Calling it an ‘election of shame,’ Gomes wrote, “Election of shame ? Mock poll with 9 votes for each of 6 candidates in booth no 31 in 34 AC in Goa. Total count BJP gets 17, Cong 9 , Aap 8. Ind 1 . Robbery. @SpokespersonECI , @CEO_Goa claims are hollow . @AamAadmiParty pl take up.”
Left red-faced, Goa Chief Electoral Officer announced that the EC had changed the machine. The tweet by Goa CEO read, “Entire set of EVM has been replaced for AC 34, PS No 31 as per report from DEO South Goa.”
Complaints of faulty EVMs did not just come from Goa. In Karnataka, where the voting is taking place for the remaining 14 seats, Minister Priyank Kharge wrote, “Way too many EVMs are malfunctioning in Chittapur. Over 20 reported so far. Hope the district administration has enough backups.”
Kerala too reported similar complaints of every vote cast to the Congress going in favour of the BJP. New Indian Express reported, “There are reports of widespread malfunction of electronic voting machines in various constituencies of the state. As many as 20 EVMs malfunctioned in Kasaragod, while five machines developed technical glitches in Kayankulam.” In Wayanad, according to news agency PTI, Thushar Vellappally, the NDA candidate, demanded re-polling after an EVM malfunctioned at a polling booth.
Popular Malayalam news website Manorama reported that a faulty EVM in a booth at Kizhakke Nalpathu near Cherthala was replaced after it was found that all votes were getting registered to BJP.
In Uttar Pradesh, the Samjawadi Party alleged that hundreds of EVMs were not functioning alleging foul play. Abdullah Azam, son of the Samajwadi Party candidate from Rampur, Azam Khan, alleged that more than 300 EVMs were malfunctioning. Ani quoted him as saying, “There are reports that 300 EVMs are not working (in Rampur) and people are facing problems while voting. We request Election Commission to take note of this.”
Later DM Rampur Aunjaneya Kumar Singh told ANI that there was ‘no problem anywhere, these (SP allegation that 300 EVMs not working) are all rumours.’ He, however, said that ‘initially some EVMs and VVPATs had operational issues but everything was sorted quickly, voting underway smoothly.’