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Lok Sabha Bye-Elections 2018 highlights: Why were EVMs procured from Surat, asks Praful Patel

Lok Sabha Bye-Elections LIVE Updates: In Bhandara-Gondia, the bypoll will be a direct fight between the BJP and Nationalist Congress Party. In Palghar, the state’s ruling party BJP and ally Shiv Sena are locked in a mouth-watering contest while NCP has declared its support for Congress.

By: Express Web Desk
New Delhi | Updated: May 28, 2018 8:52:44 pm
Lok Sabha Bye-Election 2018 LIVE Updates: Tough fight for BJP in Maharashtra's Palghar, Bhandara-Gondiya seat Lok Sabha Live Updates 2018: The counting will take place on May 31 for all three constituencies in Maharashtra and Nagaland (File)

Lok Sabha Bye-Elections 2018 Live Updates: The by-elections to Maharashtra’s Palghar and Bhandara-Gondiya Lok Sabha seat is being held today. The election for the Palghar seat is poised for a multi-cornered contest between Rajendra Gavit (BJP), Baliram Jadhav (Bhaujan Vikas Aghadi), Shriniwas Wanaga (Shiv Sena) and Damodar Singhda (Congress). The election was necessitated following the death of sitting BJP (MP) Chintaman Wanaga in January 2018. In Bhandara-Gondia, the bypoll will be a direct fight between the BJP and Nationalist Congress Party. The BJP has fielded Hemant Patle and NCP has fielded Madhukarrao Kukde. The Bhandara-Gondia Lok Sabha bypoll was necessitated following the resignation of sitting BJP (MP) Nana Patole.

Coming to the eastern region, bye-election is being held in the lone Nagaland Lok Sabha seat that was necessitated after the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) leader Neiphiu Rio, now CM of the state, resigned as a Lok Sabha member in February.

Follow | Kairana Lok Sabha By Election 2018 Live Updates

Coinciding with the fourth anniversary of the Narendra Modi government, the bypolls will act as a weathervane of the mood of the voters ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

 Assembly elections LIVE: Read in Bangla 

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Lok Sabha By Election 2018 LIVE Updates: Polling begins in Maharashtra's Palghar and other constituencies    

20:40 (IST)28 May 2018
Bedsheets, fans used to protect EVMs from extreme heat

Bedsheets, cloth and fans were used to protect the EVMs from extreme heat, harsh sunlight or dust in Monday's bypolls held in Palghar and Bhandara-Gondiya Lok Sabha constituencies in Maharashtra, said Palghar Collector Prashant Narnaware. "The sensors of these EVMs are extremely sensitive to heat, light and dust pollution. We were alerted on this by the EC beforehand. We faced problems even during the first level checks carried out on these machines a few days ago," Narnaware told IANS.

20:39 (IST)28 May 2018
Polling halted in 22 booths in Bhandara-Gondiya due to EVM glitches

Deputy election officer Vijay Thakre said the voter turnout in Bhandara-Gondiya Lok Sabha seat was 38.65 per cent till 5 pm. "It would be revised further as polling is still going on at some places," Thakre said. Meanwhile, of the 34 malfunctioning EVMs in Gondiya constituency, glitches were finally rectified in 12 but 22 remained defective through the day, thus making no polling possible. Former BJP MP from Bhandara-Gondiya Nana Patole said repolling should be done in at least 100 centres where, he claimed, EVMs had malfunctioned. "If people are deprived of their right to vote, we will move the court for repolling," he said.

18:29 (IST)28 May 2018
Only 40% turnout in Palghar, Kairana sees 55% voting

In UP, the Noorpur bye-election has seen 57 per cent voter turnout, while Kairana witnesses 55 per cent. ANI reported that 40.37 per cent voter turnout was recorded till 5 pm in Palghar bypoll in Maharashtra.

17:15 (IST)28 May 2018
Why were EVMs procured from Surat, asks Praful Patel

Meanwhile, speaking to reporters in Gondia, NCP leader Praful Patel sought to know why EVMs from Surat in Gujarat were used in the bypoll when similar machines were available in Maharashtra. "EVMs were available in Maharashtra. What was the reason for bringing EVMs from Surat in Gujarat? We have expressed our doubts to the Election Commission," Patel said.

17:13 (IST)28 May 2018
EC calls reports of EVM glitches exaggerated

Rubbishing the widespread reports of EVM glitches as an “exaggerated projection of reality”, the Election Commission said it allocated sufficient reserve EVMs and VVPATs for every general and bye-elections. “It is pertinent to mention that an adequate number of reserve EVMs and VVPATs (around 20-25%) are prepared to replace any defective machine on the poll day at the polling station,” the poll watchdog said in a press release. Read the full report here.

16:54 (IST)28 May 2018
Over 43 per cent polling recorded till 4 pm in Kairana

Over 43 per cent polling was recorded till 4 pm in the Kairana Lok Sabha constituency while 47 per cent votes were polled in the Noorpur Assembly constituency, where bypolls are underway. Amid complaints of EVM malfunctioning, the EC assured that faulty machines were being changed and a re-poll would be ordered, wherever necessary. RLD spokesman Anil Dubey said there were reports of EVM malfunctioning in both the constituencies, especially in areas of RLD-SP influence.

16:50 (IST)28 May 2018
SP's Ram Gopal Yadav asks EC to extend voting time

Meanwhile, SP leader Ram Gopal Yadav asked the EC to extend the voting time in areas marred by malfunctioning EVMs.

16:46 (IST)28 May 2018
Shiv Sena breaks silence, attacks EC and BJP

Breaking its silence on the EVM glitches for the first time in the day, Shiv Sena strongly criticised the EC and the government for the malfunctioning and claimed that these were reported mostly from the party's strongholds. Sena MP Sanjay Raut said the glitch was nothing but a manifestation of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis' recent controversial statement on 'Saam, Daam, Dand, Bhed'. "The EC is under pressures not to even register complaints... the defective machines are mostly in the Sena strongholds," he said. Congress state spokesperson Sachin Sawant said BJP was attempting to make the Lok Sabha bypolls 'My-polls' in Palghar and Bhandara-Gondiya.

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16:41 (IST)28 May 2018
25 per cent polling recorded till 2 pm in Palghar and Bhandara-Gondiya

The defective machines, it seems, has hit polling severely, with barely 25 per cent of the electorate casting their votes by 2 pm in both Palghar and Bhandara-Gondiya constituencies. Election Commission (EC) officer-in-charge Abhimanyu Kale said around 156 Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) or Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) were replaced or spares deployed.

16:31 (IST)28 May 2018
BJP Palghar nominee seeks extension of polling time over faulty EVMs

BJP candidate for the Palghar Lok Sabha seat bypoll demanded that the polling time be extended in view of EVMs malfunctioning in some booths. The poll representative of BJP's nominee Rajendra Gavit submitted a memorandum to election officials in the district, seeking an extension of the polling time due to malfunctioning of EVMs and VVPAT machines in some booths.

15:21 (IST)28 May 2018
US elections are held using ballot papers too, says Praful Patel

Claiming that there were similar reports of EVM glictches in UP's Kairana, the NCP leader pointed that US elections were also held using ballot papers. "All parties should come together to discuss the issue. If America can do polling with ballot papers, why should we not? At the most it will delay poll outcome. So what's the big deal about it?" Patel said. He also demanded that all the bye-election results should be withheld till repolling, if any, was carried out at places where machines had malfunctioned.

14:38 (IST)28 May 2018
NCP's Praful Patel urges for return to ballot papers

Addressing a press conference, NCP leader Praful Patel demanded a complete rethink on use of EVMs and urged for a return to the old system of ballot papers. "Since morning, EVMs at 64 centres started malfunctioning in Gondia Assembly segment. Till now, 34 of them are still not functioning. The Election Commission team that checked the machines said it was due to high temperature. People have queued up despite 45-46 degrees Celsius temperature here. Now, what will they do?" Patel said.

14:03 (IST)28 May 2018
Over 19% voting till 1 pm in Palghar

19.25 per cent voter turnout has been recorded till 1 pm in Palghar by-poll, reports ANI.

13:57 (IST)28 May 2018
After Palghar, EVMs found defective in Kairana as well
13:50 (IST)28 May 2018
14% voting recorded Bhandara-Gondia seat till 11 am, seven per cent in Palghar

Around 14 per cent polling was reported for the Bhandara-Gondia seat till 11 am. In Palghar, around seven per cent electorate cast their votes till 9 am.

13:47 (IST)28 May 2018
Election commission machinery working on behalf of BJP in Palghar, claims BVA leader Hitendra Thakur

Around 1500 voters from Mali, Mavanda, Navale and Nandanvan villages in Palghar's Vasai area boycotted polling citing lack of development works in their area. Bahujan Vikas Aghadi leader Hitendra Thakur claimed that 'the entire election commission machinery is working on behalf of the BJP in Palghar.'

There were phone calls from the office of a local BJP functionary in Palghar to housing societies about making arrangements for snacks and refreshments for member-voters, Thakur said.

13:15 (IST)28 May 2018
Election should be conducted using ballot paper: Anil Desai

Shiv Sena lader Anil Desai blames Election Commission for Technical problems in EVMs and VVPATs. "If this is the situation in by-polls, think about coming  Lok Sabha Elections. We've said it again and again and other parties have also agreed, that elections should be conducted using ballot papers," he said

12:49 (IST)28 May 2018
Bhandara–Gondiya Lok Sabha bypolls 2018: Voting temporarily suspended in 35 polling booths

Voting is temporarily suspended at 35 polling booths in Bhandara–Gondiya seat due to faulty Electronic Voting Machines (EVM).  According to Gondia Sub-Divisional Officer Anant Walaskar, "the problem was noticed in these centers in terms of the paper trail (VVPAT) not working. We suspended the polling. It was resumed at one center now after the machine started working well."  BJP's Hemant Patle is pitted against NCP's Madhukar Kukde here. NCP leader and  MP from the constituency Praful Patel is set to address a press conference soon on the matter. 

12:18 (IST)28 May 2018
'There will be no tolerance for goonda raj,' said Devendra Fadnavis in last lap of his campaign

In the last lap of his campaign for the bypolls in the Palghar Lok Sabha constituency, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday warned his political rivals against intimidating voters.

Addressing a huge gathering of party workers in Vasai, Fadnavis said he had received complaints that voters were being threatened by the BJP’s political rivals with water and electricity disconnections and demolition of their houses. “Maharashtra will be governed by the rule of law and there will be no tolerance for ‘goonda raj’,” he said.

11:58 (IST)28 May 2018
44 per cent voting recorded in first four hours in Nagaland

According to Nagaland Chief Electoral Officer Abhijit Sinha, 44 per cent voters exercised their franchise in the first four hours of polling for Nagaland's lone Lok Sabha seat. Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio cast his vote at a polling booth at Touphema Basa village, around 25 km from the state capital. Altogether 11,97,436 people are eligible to exercise their franchise at 2196 polling stations across the state. voting will go on till 4 pm in 1887 polling stations, while it will end an hour ahead in 309 booths. Altogether, 40 companies of Central Armed Police Forces along with 80 companies of Nagaland Armed Police, 770 Home Guards, and 2600 village guards have been deployed across the state to ensure free and fair polls, Sinha added.

Kairana Lok Sabha By Election 2018 Live Updates: Litmus test for BJP ahead of 2019  The bypoll hold much importance for the ruling BJP ahead of 2019 general elections.

In Maharashtra's Palghar and Bhandara-Gondiya, all four major parties -- the BJP, Shiv Sena, Sharad Pawar's NCP, and Congress -- have campaigned aggressively for the Lok Sabha by-elections. The outcome is significant as it is likely to have a bearing on their future course. Voting is underway for bypolls to four Lok Sabha seats and 10 assembly constituencies spread across 10 states. The Lok Sabha constituencies are Kairana in Uttar Pradesh, Palghar, and Bhandara-Gondiya in Maharashtra and the sole parliamentary constituency in Nagaland.

Follow Assembly Elections LIVE updates

The assembly bypolls are being held in Noorpur (Uttar Pradesh), Shahkot (Punjab), Jokihat (Bihar), Gomia and Silli (Jharkhand), Chengannur (Kerala), Palus Kadegaon (Maharashtra), Ampati (Meghalaya), Tharali (Uttarakhand) and Maheshtala (West Bengal).

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First published on: 28-05-2018 at 07:41:26 am
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