Press any button, vote goes to BJP: Furore in UP over “faulty” EVM machines in Meerut, Kanpur civic polls

The first phase of voting for civic polls was held in part of UP on Wednesday.  

Agitated members of opposition political parties protested outside a polling booth in Meerut for several hours on Wednesday after a voter realized that though he had pressed the button for BSP candidate, the EVM registered a vote for the candidate of the ruling BJP party.

Although officials replaced the faulty machine claiming it was a case of machine malfunction, the opposition parties alleged tampering of the EVMs. “We replaced the machine which was malfunctioning immediately”, additional district magistrate of Meerut city told the Times of India.

A video of a voter, Tasleem Ahmed unsuccessfully trying to cast his vote for the BSP went viral on the social media. “I voted for BSP candidate. I am still holding the pressed button. The machine has recorded my vote as having gone to BJP. I’ve been waiting here for an hour but no solution has been found so far,” Ahmed can be heard saying in the video. The Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) leader, Mayawati, who has been campaigning against tampering of EVM machines since the Assembly polls in UP in March, has threatened to petition the court over the fresh incident of alleged tampering.

Meanwhile, the Urdu dailies Rashtriya Sahara and Inquilab have reported widespread protests in Kanpur city where again voters from many booths alleged that irrespective of the button they pressed, the vote went to the BJP.  The police resorted to lathi charge in some places to disperse the agitated crowds. Voters from polling booth number 58 in the Chekeri area of Kanpur who went to cast their votes alleged that irrespective of the button they pressed the machine registered a vote for the candidate with the BJP’s lotus symbol.

The voters also alleged that despite their complaint the voting was continuing. The Rashtriya Sahara reports that after a complaint was lodged with the polling officer the EVM machine was replaced.

Inquilab reported protests outside several booths in Kanpur city, following which polling officers had to replace the voting machines (EVMs). Booth number 978 in the Govind Nagar assembly segment was one place where irrespective of the buttons pressed the machines were registering all the votes in favour of “a particular party”. 

It was the same story at booth number 104 too. According to the Inquilab, EVMs had to be replaced at a total of 102 booths in Kanpur because of complaints.
The first phase of voting for civic polls was held in part of UP on Wednesday.  



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