Opposition leaders from several parts of the country raised concerns about faulty Electronic Voting Machines or EVMs as polling for the third and larges phase of the Lok Sabha election started today. By mid-day, complaints about faulty machines came from Uttar Pradesh, Goa, Kerala and Assam.
In Uttar Pradesh, polling started late in several constituencies as the EVMs were not working. Voting is being held on 10 of the state's 80 seats.
Questioning why are so many EVMs breaking down, Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"Why so many malfunctions? I thought we were living in a digital India," Akhilesh Yadav said. "In today's digital India if there are so many malfunctions, it raises suspicion. So I would urge the Election Commission to take note of these and investigate those involved in setting them up," he added.
Later, he tweeted:
EVMs across India malfunctioning or voting for the BJP. DMs say poll officials untrained to operate EVMs. 350+ being replaced. This is criminal negligence for a polling exercise that costs 50,000 crs.— Akhilesh Yadav (@yadavakhilesh) April 23, 2019
Should we believe DMs @ECISVEEP, or is something far more sinister afoot? pic.twitter.com/eGsGUUBWai
The 45-year-old former Chief Minister has teamed up with arch-rival Mayawati to take on the BJP, which, with ally Apna Dal, won 72 seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
In Kerala, Thushar Vellapally, who is contesting against Congress chief Rahul Gandhi said EVMs in several booths are not working and buttons have to be pressed repeatedly to for a vote to register. He has appealed to the Election Commission, asking for a re-polling.
In Goa, the opposition Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party claimed EVMs and VVPAT machines were not working at some polling booths.
At the Cuncolim and Quepem Assembly segments, "all votes were getting registered in the BJP''s name despite pressing buttons of other parties," said Goa's Leader of Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar. It was the result of foul play by the BJP, he added.