Guwahati, 3 April-2014,Prabin Kalita: An electronic voting machine raised many eyebrows across the state during a mandatory mock poll in Jorhat on Tuesday. Every time a button was pressed, the vote went in favour of BJP.
State chief electoral officer Vijyandra on Wednesday said, “An EVM in Jorhat was found malfunctioning yesterday. It is a defective machine and it was noticed when EVMs were readied in front of representatives of all political parties. We will not send the faulty unit to any polling station.”
An EVM consists of two units, a control unit and a balloting unit. Both unites are connected with cable. The balloting unit is a small box-like device, on top of which each candidate and his or her election symbol appears. The voter selects his candidate by pressing the blue button.
The returning officer said, “These EVMs were here for long. Usually, EVMs are kept in the custody of the deputy commissioner and during elections they are taken to strong rooms.”
Congress lodged a complaint with the Election Commission of India on Wednesday and demanded thorough inspection of all EVMs in just not Jorhat, but the entire state. Pradesh Congress Committee general secretary Ranjan Bora, who lodged the complaint with EC, said, “The mock poll was done at random and the EVM for Teok assembly constituency took everyone by surprise. When the hand symbol button was pressed for Congress, the vote was found to be recorded in favour of BJP.”
He said the incident has fuelled suspicion in their minds that EVMs may have been tampered with to favour a particular political party.
Interestingly, after Congress got an overwhelming mandate in the 2011 assembly polls, Asom Gana Parishad had lodged a complaint against Congress accusing it of tinkering with EVMs. The Congress leadership had rejected this charge and pointed out that EVM results could not be manipulated.
“EVM tampering could be possible in the Jorhat case,” a senior Congress leader said. [ Input : IANS/Prabin Kalita]