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Bypolls: 37 % polling in Kairana, Noorpur seats in UP amid 'EVMs malfunctioning'


Shamli, An estimated 37 per cent of the voters in Kairana Lok Sabha and Noorpur Assembly bypolls in Uttar Pradesh have exercised their franchise on Monday till 1400 hrs with political parties alleging large scale malfunctioning of the Electronic Voting Machines(EVMs). The Election Commission said the polling which started on a dull note, however,picked up later. Around 37 per cent votes were polled till 1400 hrs on both the seats. In Kairana, the polling percentage was just 10.20 per cent at 0900 hrs, 21.34 per cent at 1100 hrs and 30.61 per cent at 1300 hrs. Similarly, in Noorpur, the poll percentage was just 6 per cent at 0900 hrs, 22 per cent at 1100 hrs and 33 per cent at 1300 hrs.They claimed that the polling was peaceful with reports of some malfunctioning of the EVMs. State Chief Electoral Officer L Vekenteshwar Lu in Lucknow refuted the charges of the opposition about the malfunctioning of the EVMs. He also met the delegation of Samajwadi Party and BJP in his office on Monday.Mr Lu said just 15 per cent of the machines were found defective and all have been replaced as already EC had 25 per cent reserve EVMs. "We are committed to ensure that whosoever wants to vote will be eligible to cast their franchise even if it takes midnight to complete it. But whoever will be in the queue at 1800 hrs would be eligible to vote," he said, while adding that all the instructions have been given to the Divisional Commissioners and the district magistrates concerned. Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav has tweeted,"thousand of complaints were coming about the faulty EVMs and farmers, labourers, women and youths are standing in the queue in hot weather without food and water. Is this a technical fault or failure in the management or a conspiracy to deny the people to vote. Such move will shake up the democracy of the country." Samajwadi Party has complained to the EC about disruption of polling in several booths of Kairana and Noorpur.Polling was disrupted for more than two hours on several booths, party spokesperson Rajendra Choudhury claimed. SP president Akhilesh Yadav has faxed his complaint letter to the EC about the conspiracy hatched through the EVMs. "There are reports that in Noorpur, 140 EVMs are faulty, which is because they've been tampered, there are similar reports from Kairana too. BJP want to avenge defeat of Phulpur and Gorakhpur, which is the reason they want to defeat us at any cost," Chaudhary told reporters here. "Government machinery is being misused in Kairana and Noorpur bypolls and money along with muscle power is being used to win this elections," Choudhury alleged. RLD candidate from Kairana Tabassum Hasan too have sent a list of more than 100 booths in Kairana where voting was disrupted due to faulty EVMs. Ms Tabassum Hasan, after casting her vote at Jain Dharamslaha booth in Kairana, alleged that machines are being tampered everywhere, faulty machines haven't been replaced in Muslim and Dalit dominated areas. "They (BJP) think they can win polls like this.That won't happen", she said. A delegation of the UP BJP led by state president J P S Rathore met the CEO and apprised him about the disruption of polling in some booths. In a written complaint they said that poling was affected in 38 booths of Nakur assembly segment and 29 of Gangoh assembly segment of Kairana Lok Sabha seat. The BJP delegation has demanded that EC should ensure that every voter was given opportunity to vote and if there was any disruption then they should order repolling in the booths. Reports from Kairana said polling was affected in around 29 booths but the EC has admitted that the number was only around a dozen. Hundred of voters were reported to have return back to their houses after standing on the booth for two hours but the EVMs could not be repaired. EVMs of Gandhi Nagar, Kalalhati, Ballammajra, Tatarpur, Gangoh, Begi, Santhathera, Husainpur under Gangoh assembly segment of Kairana Lok Sabha seat are not functioning. In Kairana 16.09 lakh voters will decide the fate of 12 candidates while in Noorpur Assembly seat in Baghpat district 3.06 lakh voters will decide the fate of 10 candidates. In Kairana, BJP candidate Mriganka Singh is pitted against joint opposition RLD candidate Tabassum Hasan. The seat fell vacant due to death of BJP member Hukum Singh, father of Mriganka. In Noorpur Assembly seat, Avni Singh, widow of Lokendra Singh, BJP member whose death caused the vacancy, is pitted against joint Opposition candidate SP's Naimul Hasan. The polling for Kairana Lok Sabha seat is spread in two districts of Shamli and Saharanpur. The counting would be taken up on May 31.

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