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Bypolls taking place in Uttar Pradesh on Monday for the Kairana Lok Sabha seat and Noorpur assembly seat have been marred with malfunctioning of more than 200 electronic voting machines (EVMs). As reports emerge of more malfunctioning EVMs, Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav urged voters to persevere and cast their votes despite the difficulties.
Tabassum Hasan, the RLD candidate for Kairana backed by the Congress, SP and Bahujan Samaj Party, lodged a complaint with the Election Commission over the faulty EVMs and VVPATs in around 175 polling booths around Shamli, Kairana, and Noorpur. She specified that EVM related issues have been reported from each of the 5 assembly segments of Kairana.
Tabassum Hasan, Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) candidate for #Kairana Lok Sabha by-poll, writes to the Election Commission over faulty EVMs & VVPATs in around 175 polling booths across Shamli, #Kairana and #Noorpur pic.twitter.com/thY6WXGZD4— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) May 28, 2018
SP state president Naresh Uttam Patel in a letter to the UP Chief Election Officer complained that the faulty EVMs had been reported from 113 booths located in the stronghold of the Samajwadi Party and its allies in Noorpur.
"It appears that the EVMs are made to go faulty in such large numbers on the directions of the State government so that people cannot go and vote in these booths," Patel wrote.
Samajwadi Party MLC Udaiveer Singh alleged there was "scientific rigging" taking place as EVMs were "selectively" malfunctioning in 90% Dalit and Muslim populated booths in Noorpur.
"No engineers are available, DM irresponsibly behaving. Ramzan being used as a tool by BJP. Yahi hai (this is) digital India aur VIKAS (development)," he said.
Singh further alleged that a majority of the officers in Noorpur had their phones switched off.
RLD party leader Jayant Chaudhary slammed the malfunctioning EVMs as 'systematic anarchy', which was seconded by RLD UP State Convenor Aeshwarya Raj Singh.