The Election Commission on Friday said elaborate arrangements were in place to prevent misuse of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in the Assembly elections in Gujarat starting Saturday.
The voting percentage was 32 in Amreli, Bhavnagar-33, Kutch-29, Morbi-33, Rajkot-35, Jamnagar-32, Dwarka-27, Porbandar-28 and Gir Somnath- 30 till afternoon. "I hope the Election Commission can step up & address the questions that are being asked of it about the trustworthiness of voting machines".
The poll panel also received several complaints of EVM malfunctioning in Kosamba region of Valsad district. It has been reported that all EVMs are working fine now. "Congress Porbandar candidate Arjun Modhwadia also accused the opposition of connecting EVMs to the mobile phone bluetooth".
"The election commission took this complaint very seriously and the district collector with returning officer reached the polling station and senior expert engineers of BEL reached for the investigation of the case".
A Congress candidate from Pardi also filed a complaint with the EC for a Voter Verification Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) not showing the paper slip while voting. In Porbandar, there were 8 voting stations where EVM equipment found fault, and in Amreli five voting booths have glitches in EVM. People were seen complaining as they were not able to cast their votes despite standing in queues since morning.
A couple casting their ballots in polling booth of Bharuch before participating wedding ceremony. "But we are confident that despite this, Congress will snatch all the six constituencies this time", Gohil added. Sources in EC say any mobile device can be named as "ECO", so that it shows up so on bluetooth/wifi search in other mobile phones. Rest were reported to have malfunctioned across Saurashtra region, another BJP bastion, where the saffron party had won more than 40 seats in 2012.
Polling, which began at 8 a.m., will end at 5 p.m.
The second phase polling is on 14 December and counting, along with that of Himachal Pradesh, will be held on 18 December.