New Delhi: Repolling in 73 booths of Kairana parliamentary constituency is underway in Uttar Pradesh, a day after the Election Commission ordered to conduct re-voting amid allegations of EVM malfunctioning that rocked the Lok Sabha bypoll in Kairana on Monday.
The EC agreed to the repolling recommendation made by a Returning Officer and decided to conduct them between 7 am and 6 pm. Most of these 73 booths are in Nakud and Gangoi Assembly constituencies. And five of them in Shamli.
49 booths in Maharashtra's Gondiya Lok Sabha constituency would also go for repolling after EVM malfunctioning were reported here on Monday.
District Magistrate Saharanpur, PK Pandey had earlier said, “There were reports of VVPAT malfunctioning from many booths yesterday. So now after all the scrutiny we have sent recommendation to Election Commission for re-polling on 73 booths. The polling booths which are recommended for re-polling include 45 booths from Gangoh and 23 booths from Nakud, 4 booths in Shamli and one booth in Thana Bhawan area. All these booths witnessed less than 40% polling on Monday in bypolls.”
Earlier, the EC said reports of 'large-scale' failure of EVMs were "exaggerated projection of reality" even as complaints mounted about problems with electronic voting machines, including in Uttar Pradesh's Kairana, where BJP is trying to retain the Lok Sabha seat against a united Opposition in a communally-charged election.
The EVM-related complaints also came from UP's Noorpur assembly seat, which has become another high-stake election in the state after a shock defeat suffered by the BJP during the earlier by-elections for Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha seats -- the first vacated by UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
Even when the voting was underway, opposition parties and the ruling BJP moved the EC in the national capital claiming that "hundreds" of EVMs and paper trail machines deployed for Kairana and Noorpur bypolls developed snags and were not replaced for hours.
The EC sources said that failure on part of the ground staff led to heating of the machines. They alleged that officials who skipped training programmes and "spent time on their phones during training" placed the machines at places where 'heat sensitive' nature of the device created problems.
Kairana is being seen as a popularity test for the ruling BJP in the electorally crucial state of UP. The bypoll was necessitated by the death of BJP MP Hukum Singh and his daughter Mriganka is the party's candidate -- pitted against Rashtriya Lok Dal's Tabassum Hasan supported by the Congress, SP and BSP.
The Noorpur bypoll was necessitated by death of sitting BJP MLA Lokendra Singh Chauhan. The BJP has fielded his wife Avani Singh, while SP has given ticket to Naeemul Hasan.