Thushar Vellappally, the Bharat Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS) candidate nominated by alliance partner BJP to contest the Wayanad Lok Sabha seat against Congress president Rahul Gandhi, has alleged EVM malfunction at a polling booth today.
Mr Vellappally, who is the BDJS president, highlighted the reportedly broken Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) in a letter sent through Chief Election Agent Advocate Sinil Kumar G.
The letter read, "Let me draw your kind attention to an important matter. It is reported from booth number 79 - CMS Higher Secondary School, Arappatta in Mooppanad Panchayath that the voting machine is damaged. A vote is not being cast even after pressing twice".
He also wrote, "Please take necessary steps for re-polling as pressing the voting machine twice can make changes in the voting".
The BDJS chief, who is from the state's Ezhava community, will count on votes from there to help beat Mr Gandhi, whose nomination to the Kerala seat is the first time he has ever contested from two seats in one election.
The Wayanad constituency consists of seven assembly segments with a total voter population of 13, 25,788, of whom over 20 percent belong to the Ezhava community. It also has a large mix of scheduled caste and scheduled tribe community.
Mr Gandhi is also contesting from the Congress stronghold of Amethi in Uttar Pradesh, which is set to vote on May 6.
Polling for the Wayanad seat has taken on particular importance in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections given the presence of the Congress president on the ballot.
The north Kerala constituency was represented by MI Shanavas in 2009 and 2014. He died in November last year.
Kerala has 20 Lok Sabha seats and all of these are voting today. In addition to these 20 constituencies, citizens in key states like Bihar, Gujarat, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Chhattisgarh will also cast their votes.
Election results will be declared on May 23.
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