Palghar Lok Sabha bypoll: EVMs carried in private vehicle, FIR filed

Palghar: A polling officer transported some Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) to the counting centre in a private car against norms, after voting for the Palghar Lok Sabha bypoll ended yesterday, an official said. Palghar District Collector and returning officer Prashant Narnaware told PTI that an FIR has been registered against the concerned polling officer. Police are probing the matter, he added.

As per norms, after the voting process gets over, the EVMs have to be transported in a government vehicle to the counting centre. The sealed EVMs of polling booth no. 17 at Chinchani polling station under Dahanu tehsil were transported by two officials in a private car last night, instead of the government vehicle that was supposed to carry them to the counting centre, he said.

Some villagers intercepted the vehicle and questioned the election officer and other occupants, after which police were called in and they took the occupants and the EVMs into custody, another official said. Senior inspector of Manor police station Mahesh Patil confirmed the incident and said a probe is underway in this connection.

The bypoll was necessitated following the death of BJP’s Chintaman Wanaga and was marred by instances of malfunctioning of EVMs and Voter-Verifiable Paper Audit Trail machines, drawing flak from the opposition parties. The technical glitches prompted the Shiv Sena and the NCP to express reservations over the use of these machines.

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Free Press Journal