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VVPAT fiasco: ECI orders repoll on April 17 at Velachery booth
In view of the gross violation of protocols and procedures at a booth in Velachery on Election Day (April 6) after EVMs and VVPAT machine were taken out of the polling station in a bike, the ECI on Tuesday ordered repolling in booth 92 at DAV school in Velachery constituency.
“The Commission, hereby, declares under section 58(1)(b) of the Representation of the People Act of 1951, that the poll taken on April 6, at booth no.92 of 26-Velachery Assembly constituency to be void and appoints April 17, Saturday, as the date and fixes the hours from 7 am to 7 pm for taking fresh poll at the said polling station,” said Malay Mallick, Secretary, ECI.
On the day of polling, three men were caught by the public on Velachery-Tharamani road with two EVMs and a VVPAT machine on a bike. Upon enquiry, they were found to be polling staff and the malfunctioned machines belonged to polling booth no.92.
Following severe criticism by opposition parties over the incident, CEO, Satyabrata Sahoo, conducted an enquiry and found that “grave violation of ECI’s standard operating procedures” had taken place. Later, he had sent his report to ECI headquarters in Delhi.
Based on the CEO’s report, ECI has ordered repolling in the booth which has a total of 540 votes. On the day of polling, 220 votes were polled in the booth while 15 of them were registered in the VVPAT that had malfunctioned.
Ashok MK from AIADMK, JMH Hassan from Congress, M Chandrabose of AMMK, Santhosh Babu of MNM and Keerthana of Naam Tamilar Katchi are key candidates from the constituency.