Rajasthan recorded a tentative turnout of 74.05 per cent in the Assembly polls on Friday as voting continued even after the 5 pm deadline.
Despite steady voting, voters complained that the election process was slow, while poll officials attributed it to the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT). This was the first election in the state where VVPATs were used along with Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) at all polling stations.
There were several reports of EVM snags, with the Congress claiming to have received complaints regarding EVMs from at least 460 locations across the state. Congress said 400 of these complaints were regarding EVMs not starting, failure of VVPATs and power failures.
The Congress also claimed that there were around 160 complaints regarding threats issued by BJP workers, attempts to capture booths and violence.
The party also complained to the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) regarding the slow pace of voting. Union Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal reportedly had waited for nearly three hours to cast his vote following an EVM glitch in a Bikaner booth.
Violence was also reported from several districts. In Sikar, two motorcycles were set on fire and stones were pelted during clashes. A clash was also reported in Bikaner’s Kolayat, where the Congress alleged that former BJP MLA Devi Singh Bhati tried to capture about 40 booths and attacked the Congress candidate and damaged his vehicle. In Bharatpur, a person was injured in a knife attack.
The Congress also accused BJP’s Tonk-Sawai Madhopur MP Sukhbir Singh Jaunapuria of trying to capture several booths.
The Returning Officer (RO) of Pali constituency was transferred over allegations that EVMs were found near BJP candidate Gyanchand Parakh’s residence. RAS officer Rakesh Kumar from Jodhpur was given charge as RO Pali, officials said.