Lok Sabha polls: With SC order in hand, eight runners-up seek verification of EVMs, VVPAT units

This is the first instance of such requests since a Supreme Court order in April allowed runners-up to seek verification.
EVM image used for representational purposes
EVM image used for representational purposes

NEW DELHI: The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Thursday said it has received eight applications from six states for checking and verification of burnt memory and microcontrollers of EVMs used in the Lok Sabha elections.

This is the first instance of such requests since a Supreme Court order in April allowed runners-up to seek verification.

The ECI in an official statement said, “Manufacturers will issue the schedule for EVM checking and verification within two weeks of receipt of election petition (EP) status from Chief Electoral Officers (CEOs). The checking and verification of units will start within four weeks of confirmation of the EP status.”

It further said that the complaints originated from 92 polling stations spread across the eight Lok Sabha seats in six states, the maximum 40 from Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar constituency. Candidates from the BJP, the Congress, the DMDK and the YSRCP have filed these applications, it added.

EVM image used for representational purposes
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Among the 40 complaints in Ahmednagar are Shrigonda and Parner (10 each) and Karjat-Jamkhed, Ahmednagar City, Rahuri and Shevgaon (5 each).

BJP sitting MP Sujay Vikhe-Patil, who was defeated by NCP candidate Nilesh D. Lanke, applied for checking and verification of the 40 EVMs in his constituency.

According to ECI data, Lanke secured 6,24,797 votes and won by a margin of 28,929 votes. Vikhe-Patil polled 5,95,868 votes.

The poll panel also noted that the complaints were received as per the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) of the ECI announced on June 1.

Apart from Maharashtra, similar pleas have been received from Vizianagaram (Andhra Pradesh - 2 EVMs), Kanker (Chhattisgarh - 4 EVMs), Faridabad and Karnal (Haryana 6- EVMs), Vellore and Virudhnagar (Tamil Nadu - 20 EVMs) and Zahirabad (Telangana - 20 EVMs).

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