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Congress knocks EC's door over EVMs; Digvijay suggests "reliable system" for future

By Vishal S
|

Mumbai, Oct 21: Congress has reportedly lodged 221 complaints regarding the Electronic Voting Machines on Monday. The voting is underway in 288 constituencies of Maharashtra.

Faulty EVMs delayed polling at some booths in Maharashtra's Ratnagiri and Bhandara districts on Monday, an official said. Polling was also halted for sometime at a booth in Worli area of Mumbai due to a technical error.

Congress leader Digvijaya Singh

The state Congress unit also sent 187 complaints to the Election Commission of malfunctioning of EVMs. In Ratnagiri's Dhamangaon village, polling was stopped at a booth from 8.30 am to 10 am due to a technical fault in the electronic voting machine (EVM). The EVM glitch also halted the polling process at a booth in Kalamban Gavhanwadi village in Ratnagiri since 9.42 am and resumed there around 12.30 pm.

In Bhandara district, polling was disrupted from 9.15 am to 9.35 am due to a similar issue, he said. Long queues were witnessed outside these polling stations as the voting process was disrupted.

[Polls and by-polls on Oct 21: List of all seats where voting is underway today]

In Mumbai, polling at a centre near the Doordarshan office in Worli area was halted for sometime due to a technical error, the official said. However, the issue was resolved soon and polling resumed, he added. Meanwhile, the state Congress sent 187 complaints to the EC of malfunctioning of EVMs at several booths. Polling was underway in all 288 Assembly seats since 7 am and will end at 6 pm.

Meanwhile, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh suggested the Election Commission a "reliable system of a combination of EVM and Ballot Box", and urged all political parties to consider this option.

Singh in a series of tweets wrote, "Haryana-Maharashtra Elections 2019: Here is how EVM-VVPAT can be manipulated due to a major technical glitch. EC is aware of lacuna but continues to be silent."

Singh said if the CEC still insists on EVMs, then he has a request. "After pressing the button on ballot unit instead the Voter seeing the picture on the screen for 7 seconds the printer should give the Voter printed vote in his hand which he can physically put in a ballot box," he tweeted.

"Now the argument put forward by CEC would be that the counting would take a lot of time. As it stands today CEC picks up 5 booths randomly and checks the printed vote as per Supreme Court order," he added.

He went on to add, "If the voter has put the printed vote in a Ballot Box then he or the candidates or the political parties can't complain. And the time taken would be the same. So it would be a reliable system of a combination of EVM and Ballot Box."

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