Refuting allegations of faulty EVMs during the third phase of Lok Sabha elections on Tuesday, UP chief electoral officer (CEO) L Venkateshwar Lu said technical problems were detected in 3% EVMs/VVPATs only and the machines were changed immediately.
He said polling in 10 Lok Sabha constituencies of Uttar Pradesh passed off peacefully with 60.52% voters exercising their franchise. “In 2014 general elections, 61.48% votes were polled in these 10 constituencies,” he added.
Rubbishing the claims of the Samajwadi Party leaders that malfunctioning was reported in a large number of electronic voting machines (EVMs) and VVPATs, he said during mock poll and polling fault was reported in only 3% of the machines which were changed.
“The highest percentage of fault (5%) was found in Firozabad,” he said. In all the 10 Lok Sabha seats, 412 EVMs and 373 VVPATs were changed during mock poll while 284 EVMs and 458 VVPATs were changed during voting. Polling was held at 20,120 polling booths,” he said.
The Election Commission has issued notices to 11 candidates for violation of model code of conduct. These candidates include Parmeshwar Lal Saini, Dr Chandrasen Jadon, Sanghmitra Maurya, Rajveer Singh, Kunwar Sarvesh Kumar Singh of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Hemraj Verma and Ruchi Vira of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Bhagwat Sharan Gangwar and Akshay Yadav of the Samajwadi Party (SP), and Praveen Singh Aron and Imran Pratapgarhi of the Congress.
“The candidates had appealed for votes on the social media during the 48-hour restriction on campaigning,” Lu said.
The CEO said 64.11% votes were polled in Moradabad , 60% in Rampur, 61.80% in Sambhal, 58.80% in Firozabad, 57.80% in Mainpuri, 59.90% in Etah, 57.50% in Badaun, 59.18% in Aonla, 61.49% in Bareilly and 64.60% in Pilibhit.
“In their report, the returning officers have not recommended re-polling on any booth. However, the Election Commission had recommended re-polling on a booth in Etmadpur area of Agra where poll was held on April 18. The presiding officer had closed the EVM during polling. Action will be taken against the presiding officer,” he said.
Lu said a presiding officer, Zubair, was removed during polling in Bilari area of Moradabad Lok Sabha seat on charges of asking a voter to press the button against the symbol of particular political party.
“A case has been registered against a voter Bharat Singh Maurya who manhandled the presiding officer. The police have taken Maurya into custody,” he said.
Speaking on the allegation of SP candidate from Badaun Dharmendra Yadav that UP cabinet minister Swami Prasad Maurya was camping in Badaun to campaign for his daughter and BJP candidate Sanghmitra Maurya during polling, Lu said the claims were found baseless.
“The DM and SDM inspected the houses but Maurya was not found. Complainants have been directed to send video clipping to show the presence of Maurya. The Election Commission is yet to receive the video,” he said.
Poll boycott by voters was reported from villages in Mainpuri, Firozabad and Badaun over the issue of construction of road and sanitation. “The officers visited the villages and convinced them to cast their vote,” Lu said.
Apr 24, 2019 10:53 IST