MCD polls: Kejriwal questions SEC over ‘malfunctioning’ EVMs

RSTV Bureau

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal took on the State Election Commission claiming that reports of “faulty” EVMs were pouring in from across the national capital on polling day.

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal flanked by security personnel after casting his vote, in New Delhi

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal flanked by security personnel after casting his vote, in New Delhi

The Aam Aadmi Party supremo also alleged that many voters with valid voter slips were “not allowed” to exercise their franchise in the municipal polls. Kejriwal had earlier demanded that the election be postponed till arrangements for VVPAT-equipped electronic voting machines (EVMs) were made.

“Reports from all over Delhi of EVM malfunction, people wid voter slips not allowed to vote. What is SEC doing? (sic)” he wrote on Twitter.

One SEC official admitted that there were reports of  “technical glitches” from a few places but added that the faults were rectified.

The VVPAT machine dispenses a slip with the symbol of the party a person has voted for. The slip drops in a box, but the voter cannot take it home.

Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal at a polling station

Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal at a polling station

The voters, however, can see the voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) slip for seven seconds.

Earlier, after casting his vote, Kejriwal urged the voters of Delhi to come out of their houses and exercise their franchise for a “dengue and chikungunya-free Delhi”.

“I appeal to the people to come out in large numbers and vote for a chikungunya and dengue-free Delhi,” he told reporters.

Asked if the MCD polls were a referendum on the AAP government’s two-year performance in Delhi, he said, “We will see that when the results are declared on Wednesday.

Meanwhile around 35 per cent votes were polled in the municipal elections in the national capital till 2 PM, with the electorates in north Delhi le ading the tally.

“Around 43,82,359 votes have been polled since 8 AM. As many as 16,40,304 people have cast their vote in areas under the North Delhi Municipal Corporation,” according to the State Election Commission (SEC).

Polling began for the high-stakes MCD polls at 8 AM and will go on till 5:30 PM. The elections to two wards have been postponed due to death of candidates, so voting is being held in only 270 wards.

Meanwhile, annoyed over the delay in sending poll percentage by the officials concerned, the SEC has decided to issue memo to them.

“There has been a delay on the part of concerned official in sending poll percentage data to a control room which has been set up at the SEC headquarters. It has been decided to issue memo to them,” an official said.

There are a total of 1,32,10,206 voters entitled to exercise their franchise in electing councillors for 270 wards falling under the three corporations – NDMC (103), SDMC (104) and East Delhi Municipal Corporation (63).