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‘Challenge for Election Commission in Nizamabad?’: 12 EVMs Per Booth to Accommodate 185 Candidates in Poll Fray

‘Challenge for Election Commission in Nizamabad?’: 12 EVMs Per Booth to Accommodate 185 Candidates in Poll Fray

178 farmers are contesting from Nizamabad, apart from seven candidates from political parties.

Nizamabad: The Nizamabad parliamentary constituency, where Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s daughter and incumbent MP is seeking a re-election, is all set to create a record as polling will be conducted with 12 big-sized EVMs in every polling booth as the voters have to choose from 185 candidates.

The Election Commission officials are giving special care to conduct polling here as apart from Congress and BJP, 178 farmers are also contesting from Nizamabad.

Farmers wanted to make the polling process in paper ballot paper as they thought that it won’t be possible to have so many names with symbols in Electronic Voting Machines-EVMs.

Earlier on Monday, the Telangana high court dismissed a writ petition filed by contesting turmeric farmers of Nizamabad, who questioned ‘non-allotment’ of symbols by the EC.

“We cannot intervene in the election process at this stage. There are Supreme Court judgments asking courts not to intervene. We will examine the validity of rule 10(4),” a bench of acting Chief Justice Raghavendra Singh Chauhan and Justice A Rajasheker Reddy said. Farmer Sunketa Ravi and 15 others had filed the plea.

Accepting the ‘challenge’, ECI officials decided to go ahead with EVMs and top technical officials visited Nizamabad to make the process easy.

Each polling station will have 12 M3 version EVMs, all connected to a single control unit and a VVPAT.

The joined unit will be kept in ‘L’ shape and the VVPAT machine will be place in the middle of the unit to see their vote symbols in all polling stations uniformly. Each machine will have 16 names.

To aware the voters, election officials have opened a model polling center to demonstrate.

The awareness programs have also been conducted with LED displays in all parts of the constituency.

“Model Ballot will be placed outside of the polling center. We are requesting voters to see it. It will be easy to locate a name on an EVM. Voters can see the slip in VVPATs placed in the middle of an EVM,” said presiding officer of model polling station Simhachalam.

He added that 30 seconds are usually enough to cast a vote in an evm, though in Nizamabad, it may take an additional 10 seconds.

There will be 186 buttons in the EVM including NOTA.

Due to a high number of contestants, EC has decided to start polling one hour later, at 8AM, till 6PM.

Officials will use 26,000 ballot units in 1,788 polling stations across the constituency.

8,14,689 women, 7,38,577 men and 35 other voters will utilize their electoral rights in Nizamabad.