Lok Sabha Election 2019: EVMs recovered from Bihar hotel on polling day

Lok Sabha Election 2019: EVMs recovered from Bihar hotel on polling day: Two EVMs and VVPATs were recovered from a hotel near a polling booth in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur on Monday. The recovery was made by the Sub-divisional Officer (SDO) Kundan Kumar while polling for the Lok Sabha elections was underway in a booth nearby on May 6.

According to sources, sector magistrate Avdesh Kumar was in-charge of 4 EVMs in Muzaffarpur, which were kept as a backup option in case any machine malfunctioned in the area. District Collector Alok Ranjan Ghosh said that the Sector Officer Awadesh Singh’s driver had expressed his desire to vote. According to a primary reply by the officer, he had taken the EVM machine and VVPAT into a private hotel. A formal reply by the Sector Officer is awaited. He had also two ballotting units, one control unit and two VVPATs with him in his vehicle.

Muzaffarpur District Magistrate Alok Ranjan Ghosh said, “Sector officer was given some reserved machines so that it could be replaced with faulty ones. After replacing EVMs he was left with 2 balloting units, 1 control unit, and 2 VVPATs in his car. He shouldn’t have unloaded the machines in the hotel which is against rules. Since he has violated the rules a departmental investigation will be done.”

Local Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Syed Iqbal Munna has demanded strict action be taken against the official concerned and his driver.

He also questioned as to why only two EVMs were taken into the hotel when six of them were in the vehicle and demanded cancellation of all the six EVMs.

‘We came here after getting the information that EVMs were taken inside the hotel, people saw and reported this. We demand strictest possible action to be taken on the official and his driver. I would also like to demand the administration to put all the six EVMs in the rejected category and be kept aside from counting,’ Munna told reporters here.

The concerned officer, Avdesh Kumar, has been issued a show-cause notice to justify why he took the machines to a hotel.

An estimated 57.86 percent voter turnout was recorded on five Lok Sabha constituencies of Bihar on Monday. The five Lok Sabha seats that witnessed voting in Bihar on Monday included Sitamarhi, Madhubani, Muzaffarpur, Saran, and Hajipur (reserved).