Seizure of EVMs, VVPATs from Muzaffarpur hotel sends officials in a tizzy, departmental probe ordered

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Published: May 7, 2019 1:54:42 PM

Muzaffarpur is one of the 40 Lok Sabha constituencies in Bihar. It went to polls in the fifth phase on Monday along with four other seats. The constituencies witnessed a total turnout of 61.27%. Results will be declared on May 23.

EVM, VVPAT, MuzaffarpurFive EVMs, VVPATs seized form Muzaffarpur hotel in Bihar

Amid the hue and cry of opposition parties over the authenticity of Electronic Voting Machine (EVM), five EVMs and VVPAT machines were recovered from a hotel in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur where polling took place in the fifth phase on Monday. News agency ANI reported that the incident occurred in Choti Kalyani area of the constituency.

It said that Sector Magistrate Avdesh Kumar was in charge of these EVMs which were kept as a back up in case of glitches in the EVMs in the area. Reports say that the official had decided to take the EVMs and VVPATs to the hotel room as his driver had to go to another polling booth to cast his vote. After coming out of the polling booth, Avdesh’s driver excused himself to cast his ballot at another polling station. This was when the Avdesh got down from his vehicle at a nearby hotel and took the EVMs, VVPATS and ballot units to the room of the hotel.

According to District Magistrate Alok Ranjan Ghosh, the sector officer was given reserved machines so that it could be used to replace the faulty ones. “After replacing EVMs, he was left with 2 balloting unit,1 control unit and 2 VVPAT in his car,” Ghosh said.

Polling agents of political parties started protesting as soon as news spread that the polling officer was carrying EVMs to the hotel. Sub-Divisional Officer Kundan Kumar visited the hotel and immediately seized the EVMs and VVPATs.

Ghosh said that Avdesh should not have unloaded the EVMs at the hotel which is against the set rules of the Election Commission. He said that since Avdesh violated the rules, a departmental investigation will be done. Also, the Election Commission has issued a showcause notice to Avdesh to present his side.

Muzaffarpur is one of the 40 Lok Sabha constituencies in Bihar. It went to polls in the fifth phase on Monday along with four other seats. The constituencies witnessed a total turnout of 61.27%. Results will be declared on May 23.

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