New Delhi, May 29 (IANS) The Election Commission (EC) on Tuesday ordered fresh polling in 73 polling stations of Kairana parliamentary constituency in Uttar Pradesh and 49 polling stations in Maharashtras Bhandara-Gondiya parliamentary constituency on Wednesday.
The EC’s decision came after an unusually high number of voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines malfunctioned during Monday’s polling on these seats and delayed the polling for hours.
The opposition parties too had demanded fresh polling in several polling stations in Kairana and Bhandara-Gondiya.
Chief Election Commissioner O.P. Rawat, however, tried to play down the matter.
“So, out of 1,700-odd polling stations of Kairana, fresh polling would be done in only 73 and out of 2,149 polling stations of Bhandara-Gondiya, only 49 would go for fresh polling tomorrow under the Section 58 of the Representation of People’s Act,” Rawat said.
Meanwhile, the EC also shunted out Gondiya’s District Magistrate (DM) and the new DM assumed charge on Tuesday.
The poll panel also ordered fresh polling in one polling station in Nagaland.
The poll panel has attributed the VVPAT malfunctioning to extreme heat, exposure to direct sunlight and mishandling of machines by staff during the polling.