EVM votes only for BJP every time pressed, stuns poll staff in Assam

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.

EVM votes only for BJP every time pressed, stuns poll staff in Assam

An EVM that 'votes' only for BJP stuns poll staff in Assam
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.
The Jorhat parliamentary constituency returning officer and deputy commissioner Vishal Vasant Solanki told TOI that all EVMs in his custody are being put through a second level of test by engineers of the Electronics Corporation of India Ltd (ECIL), one of the two companies from Hyderabad, which manufactures EVMs.This Jorhat Lok Sabha seat has Congress stalwart and former Union minister Bijoy Krishna Handique locking horns with BJP youth and tea tribal leader Kamakhya Tasa. This will be Handique’s record seventh successive attempt for the Lok Sabha election. Jorhat goes to the polls on April 7.

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]