After directing Gujarat to use brand-new Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and VVPATs sourced from Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, the Election Commission has now decided to deploy 3,000 old machines manufactured between 2006-2016 at the five places in the state where Assembly bypolls will be held simultaneously.
The five locations, where the old EVMs and VVPATs of M2 model will be used, are the Assembly constituencies of Dhrangadhra (Surendranagar district), Manavadar (Junagadh), Talala (Gir Somnath), Unjha (Mehsana) and Jamnagar Rural (Jamnagar). “We are using M2 machines at the five places where bypolls will be held. These machines will also be used in the same locations for the Parliamentary elections,” said S Murali Krishna, Chief Electoral Officer of Gujarat. Both the Lok Sabha polls and bypolls for the Assembly seats will be simultaneously held at these five places on April 23.
Officials said around 3,000 machines are expected to be used in these five places. The Indian Express had reported earlier that the percentage of rejections among the old machines of M2 model was found to be high —- more than five per cent —- during First-level Checks (FLCs) conducted during 2017 Assembly elections.
The older machines of M2 model have a high failure rate and so it was decided to go for the brand new M3 model machines during the Lok Sabha elections. In preparation for the Lok Sabha elections, Gujarat had procured over 80,300 brand new Ballot units and 67,000 Control units that together form an EVM.
The EC official said, “We had written to the Election Commission of India about our requirement and they gave us M2 machines. We will not have to procure these machines from any other state as about 8,000 of them are already in Gujarat,” he said.