As Kerala begins to vote during Phase III of the Lok Sabha elections, reports of EVM malfunction in many booths in the state are rife.
In Kerala’s Kovalam, voters claimed that when they press the button to vote for any party, the light against the BJP’s lotus symbol lights up. Meanwhile, in Wayanad, many alleged that even when they pressed the button on the machine, their vote wasn’t recorded.
The Kerala Chief Election Commissioner denied these reports, stating that it was “false news.”
Several leaders have also appealed that because of the delay in polling, the Election Commission should extend time and ensure all voters get a chance to vote.
In Kovalam, ‘You Vote for Congress But Your Vote Goes to BJP’
After 76 votes were cast at booth 151 at Chowara in Kovalam, the machine developed an error. The District Collector said that the machine was restarted and polling resumed.
However, CPI(M) State Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said the snag in EVMs prove that ‘Modi machines’ have reached Kerala and the arrangements of the Election Commission have gone awry, reported The Hindu.
K Vasuki, District Collector, Thiruvananthapuram, clarified in a Facebook message the allegation that votes were being cast for a particular party alone when the button is pressed is “technically and technologically impossible”, reported The Hindu.
Even Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told reporters that there was some problem in the voting machine in his booth. He said he hoped that the Election Commission will take notice of it.
“There is false news spreading that at Booth 151 in Kovalam, every vote is being cast for lotus. Every media is carrying similar (reports) to the one that happened in AP. We double checked and no such thing is happening,” Teeka Ram Meena, the CEO said, reported The News Minute.
Shashi Tharoor, the Congress candidate for Thiruvanthapuram said, “It's normal for machines to malfunction. I am curious how every malfunction seems to benefit only one party.”
Social media is buzzing with angry voters demanding an answer from the Election Commission.
In Kerala, if you press 'Hand' symbol, light shows as 'Lotus'.— Tinu Cherian Abraham (@tinucherian) April 23, 2019
How is that all 'faulty EVMs' select only BJP?#LokSabhaElections2019 #Votinground3 #BattleOf2019 #Phase3 #Trivandrum #Kerala pic.twitter.com/2naZ1Q5jM7
A voter in Kerala’s Kovalam to Malayalam channels. “I have voted for Congress, but the pic came on the screen and the slip was lotus. I want to cast my vote again”— Liz Mathew (@MathewLiz) April 23, 2019
There's a pattern to this.— Ben (@gbenhur) April 23, 2019
Thoothur in phase 2 and now Kovalam. These are predominantly fishermen community, which will no way vote for BJP. Looks like they've identified such booths to keep these special EVMs. https://t.co/rKbIrKrFPY
In Another Booth, You Press the Button But Your Vote Doesn’t Get Cast
Meanwhile, NDA candidate Thushar Vellappally from Wayanad demanded re-polling after an EVM malfunctioned at a polling booth.
“Let me draw your kind attention to an important matter. It is reported from booth number 79 - CMS Higher Secondary School, Arapatta in Mooppanad Panchayath that the voting machine is damaged. A vote is not being cast even after pressing twice,” a letter by Vellappally though Chief Election Agent Advocate Sinil Kumar G read, reported ANI.
“Please take necessary steps for re-polling as pressing the voting machine twice can make changes in the voting,” it added.
227 candidates are contesting on all the 20 Lok Sabha constituencies in Kerala. The Wayanad seat is crucial as Congress President Rahul Gandhi is contesting from Kerala for the first time.
(Inputs from The Hindu, ANI, The News Minute)
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