Pune: Voters in the Maharashtra village of Navlewadi under Koregaon tehsil in Satara district have alleged EVM malfunction during Lok Sabha by-poll Monday. They have alleged that it resulted in votes cast for any candidate going to BJP’s account. However, the allegation has been denied by election officials.
NCP legislator Shahshikant Shinde said he was witness to such a thing happening when he visited a polling booth in the village. However, Kirti Nalawade, the returning officer for the Koregaon Assembly segment in Western Maharashtra, where this village is located, refuted the claim.
Shahshikant Shinde said the Election Commission (EC) should take a serious note of this incident and initiate steps to check its recurrence.
Villagers said votes cast in favour of the NCP nominee Srinivas Patil were going into the ‘account’ of BJP candidate Udayanraje Bhosale. Shinde said when he reached the polling station and raised the issue with the election officials in the booth, they hurriedly changed the EVM machine.
“I received a call from some voters and our party workers who informed me that votes cast for the NCP candidate were going to the BJP nominee. By the time I reached there, around 270 votes were cast in a similar manner,” Shinde said Tuesday.
“One person came there to cast his vote. Before he could press the button, the red light next to the BJP’s Lotus symbol blinked. That voter also noticed this and objected to it, after which the (poll) officials there orally accepted that there was some issue with the machine,” Shinde informed.
He said the officials told party agents and voters to pay fee for a mock test to clear their doubts. “I suggested that a voter will cast his vote in the presence of the main poll official there to verify the claims. When one person went to vote, the machine suddenly developed some issue and stopped working,” stated Shinde.
“Some officials then checked the machine and informed us that there were some problems with the EVM and proposed to replace it. The machine was then replaced,” added Shinde.