New Delhi: As the first phase of Gujarat Assembly elections kick-started on Saturday, reports of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) malfunctioning hit the polling stations of Rajkot, Surat and different parts of the poll-bound state. While 70 EVMs were reported faulty in Surat’s Varaccha, a Patel-dominated area, 35 machines were tampered with in Rajkot constituency.
Various complaints of EVM malfunctioning were registered with the poll panel in the first phase of Gujarat polls. Senior Congress leader from Porbandar, Arjun Modhwadia has complained that one EVM machine was connected with a WiFi. A Congress candidate from Pardi also filed a complaint with the EC for a Voter Verification Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) not showing the paper slip while voting.
Reacting to the reports, senior Congress leader Ahmed Pate said,”Wherever there are complaints of EVM malfunctioning, it should be dealt with immediately.
Former Jammu and Kashmir CM Omar Abdullah also expressed his disappointment over the report and said, “I’ve been extremely sceptical of EVM related conspiracy theories but I’m being to question my unwavering faith in the machines & their infallibility. I hope the Election Commission can step up & address the questions that are being asked of it about the trustworthiness of voting machines.”
Meanwhile, Speaking to ANI, Master Trainer of the Election Commission Vipul Goti refused to call it a technical error saying,”Everything is fine now and voting has started.”
“Have replaced two machines and one VVPAT, you cannot really call it a technical error, these are electronic items there can be some issues. Now everything is okay,”Goti added.