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Sena MP Questions Overnight Increase In Voting Percentage In Palghar

He also claimed that EVMs were sourced from a private company in Surat this time.

Mumbai, May 30

A Shiv Sena MP today questioned `overnight’ increase in the voting percentage of the May 28 bye-poll for the Palghar Lok Sabha constituency in Maharashtra.

Poll officials, however, said such a revision was normal.

“The voting percentage in Palghar, as confirmed by the polling officer, was 46.5 earlier. It increased to 52.3 in the morning. How is this possible unless there is some major problem with the system,” Sena MP Arvind Sawant said, speaking to reporters.

Further, Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) were taken to polling booths in private vehicles which was against the rules, he alleged.

He also claimed that while EVMs are normally procured from the state-run BHEL or Electronic Corporation of India (ECIL), this time the machines were sourced from a private company in Surat.

“There were also instances where EVMs malfunctioned.

Therefore we demand that the country should switch back to voting by ballot paper,” the Sena MP said.

When contacted for a comment, officials rubbished the suggestion that there was a tampering with voting figures.

“Once the last voter casts his vote, we have to send a provisional report to the chief secretary. Later, after gathering machines from all booths, we review and calculate final figures of voting which we have to submit the next morning by 7 am,” said Palghar district collector Prashant Narnaware, the returning officer.

“Any political party can check voting figures from their polling agents and cross check with our figures,” he said, pointing out that the whole counting process takes place in the presence of polling agents.

Another poll official denied Sawant’s claim that EVMs were procured from a priave firm. All EVMs were either from ECIL or BHEL, he said.

Sena’s Shriniwas Wanaga and BJP’s Rajendra Gavit are among the main candidates in the bye-poll, the counting for which will take place tomorrow.

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