‘Saw my vote gone to BJP’: NCP Chief

Casting aspersions on faulty and malfunctioning of electronic voting machines (EVMs) in polls, NCP chief Sharad Pawar claimed that he had himself seen during a presentation that a vote cast for his party went to the BJP on the machine. His statements come at a time when several parties across the country have been reporting mass manipulation of EVMs to the Election Commission.

Though he did not claim that all EVMs were manipulated, he said: “I am also concerned about the machine. In Hyderabad and Gujarat, some people kept an EVM before me and asked me to press a button. I pressed the button against ‘watch’ which is our party (NCP’s) symbol and the vote got cast in favour of lotus (BJP) . I saw it happening myself,” he told mediapersons.

What began as a claim in the first phase of elections during Andhra Pradesh and Telangana voting where malfunctioning and manipulation of EVMs was reported, has widely been seen in other states too. Interestingly, most of these claims of manipulated EVMs came from non-BJP ruled states.

Recently, the Supreme Court struck down the Opposition Parties’ demand to verify at least 25% VVPAT slips with EVMs as against the random matching the EC had suggested at 5 polling booths per assembly. Earlier the Opposition parties demanded at least 50% verification.

Nearly 21 opposition parties had approached the Supreme Court seeking a review of its April 8 order. But, the Supreme Court has stuck to its April 8th order on random matching of VVPAT slips with EVMs.

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