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Journalism of Courage

Gujarat polls: Congress complains of non-functional EVMs in 50 booths

Most of these booths are in the Saurashtra region, said Congress spokesperson Alok Sharma.

Voting underway at Limbdi village, Surendranagar during phase one of Gujarat assembly elections. (Express photo by Nirmal Harindran)

After the first phase of the Gujarat Assembly polls began Thursday, the Opposition Congress submitted a complaint to the Election Commission stating that electronic voting machines (EVMs) are not working in at least 50 polling booths, which are mostly in the Saurashtra region of the state.

“We have submitted a written complaint on the non-functioning of EVMs and a lot of time is being taken to replace them. We have submitted a list of places where the EVMs are not working. There are around 50 polling booths where this problem has arisen and many of them are in Saurashtra, which includes Jamnagar and Rajkot. These should be rectified quickly so that maximum polling can happen,” said Alok Sharma, national spokesperson for the Congress.

“The second complaint is about electronic channels which have been showing visual bytes of the BJP in such a way that electorates will get influenced. This is in contravention to the EC guidelines to air opinion polls or exit polls,” said Sharma, adding that no programmes should be aired which will even remotely sound like an opinion poll. Sharma said the Election Commision assured the Congress of rectifying the EVMs and taking appropriate action.

When asked about the EVM failures during the initial hours of polling, the EC officials in Gujarat said they were collating data and would be informing about the same later in the day.

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In the first phase, voting happens in 89 of the 182 seats. The second and the final phase of polling is scheduled for Monday, December 5. The votes will be counted and the results declared next Thursday, December 8.

First published on: 01-12-2022 at 12:31 IST
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