ANDHRA PRADESH

EVM glitches, norms delay results

Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD: Technical glitches of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and the Election Commission’s new counting norms caused a delay in the announcement of results in the 15 Assembly and two Parliament constituencies in the capital.

District Election Officer (DEO) M.T. Krishna Babu told presspersons on Saturday that EC’s stipulations was to complete counting of all tables in one round and random check of EVMs by observers. Results are also taken by both the counting supervisor and observers followed by cross check by the Returning Officer concerned. “More than speed, the EC’s instructions was to be more accurate,” he said.

EVM glitches happened in polling station 117 of Yakutpura Assembly constituency showed ‘zero’ data when the seal was opened to take up counting. Six hundred and forty six votes were polled in the same place for Parliament. EC observer there had noted that 340 votes were polled when he checked few hours into the polling. However, considering that Majlis candidate Mumtaz Ahmed Khan has a majority of 18,391 votes over his nearest rival and MBT’s Hamjabin Omer Ali Jaffer Bin, the R.O. and Election Observer concerned have sought EC’s permission to declare the result.

A control unit of another EVM at polling station 88 of Karwan Assembly constituency showed an error and it could not be rectified by ECIL technicians also. But, it was recorded in the R.O.’s diary that 240 votes have been polled and of these 200 votes were retrieved leaving a balance of 40 votes.

The inning candidate, Mohd Muqtada Khan, had a lead of 19,283 votes over his nearest rival, BJP’s D. Karunakar. Hence, it was recommended to the EC to declare the result, explained the DEO. There was an instance of poll officials mistakenly sending a working EVM to the strong room of GHMC even while retaining a faulty one in the strong room of the Secunderabad Cantonment Assembly constituency.

While awaiting the official nod from the EC, announcement of results of Karwan, Yakutpura and Secunderabad Cantonment Assembly constituencies as also the Hyderabad and Secunderabad Parliamentary constituencies got delayed.

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