Repolling is currently underway at 73 polling booths in Kairana Lok Sabha seat, which went to polls on Monday and saw a voter turnout of about 54 per cent. The Election Commission had Tuesday ordered re-polling at 123 polling booths [Kairana (73) and Bhandara Gondia (49) (Maharashtra)] Lok Sabha seats taking cognizance of the number of complaints of faults in Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trails (VVPAT) machines during the bypolls held across 10 states.
In Kairana, around 80,000 voters will exercise their franchise in 23 polling stations at Nakur, 44 in Gangoh and one at Thana Bhawan in Saharanpur and five in Shamli. The repolling, which started at 7 am, will end at 5 pm.
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Earlier, the EC had sought a report from Uttar Pradesh CEO L Venkateshwar Lu, and the returning officers of Kairana and Noorpur seats. The CEO said that several complaints were reported of faulty VVPATs since the start of voting on Monday. A total of 384 VVPATs were changed after the faults came to light during voting.
Both the opposition and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had alleged that the electronic voting machines at these polling booths were faulty and that could have a bearing on the free and fair outcome of the balloting.
On Monday, officials had blamed a technical snag for the malfunction while the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), which have closed ranks for the bypolls, alleged EVMs had been tampered with at the BJP’s behest. “The BJP wants to defeat us at any cost as it wants to avenge the defeat of Phulpur and Gorakhpur (Lok Sabha by-polls),” SP spokesman Rajendra Chaudhary had said.
There is no change in the date on which results will be declared. Counting of votes will be on May 31.