The Election Commission on Tuesday ordered repolling at 73 booths in Uttar Pradesh’s Kairana, 49 booths in Maharashtra’s Bhandara-Gondiya, and one polling station in Nagaland in response to several complaints of faulty voter-verified paper audit trail or VVPAT machines during Monday’s bye-elections to the parliamentary constituencies. Repolling will be held on Wednesday from 7 am to 6 pm, PTI reported.
In Kairana, the poll panel sought a report from Chief Electoral Officer L Venkateshwar Lu and the returning officers of Kairana and Noorpur seats after polling officers changed 384 VVPATs, reported the Hindustan Times. There were also reports of three Electronic Voting Machines malfunctioning.
Kairana, where bye-elections were held because of the death of Bharatiya Janata Party MP Hukum Singh, saw a 54.17% turnout. Hukum Singh’s daughter Mriganka Singh was the BJP’s candidate. The Samajwadi Party, the Congress and the Nishad Party supported Rashtriya Lok Dal candidate Tabassum Hasan.
Meanwhile, the poll panel ordered the transfer of Gondia’s District Collector Abhimanyu Kale for “dereliction of duty”, PTI reported. Kadambari Balkawade has replaced him, ANI reported.
A bye-election was necessitated in the seat after sitting MP Nana Patole quit the Bharatiya Janata Party and joined the Congress in December. Opposition parties Congress and Nationalist Congress Party formed an alliance to contest the polls.