The deputy district election officer (DEO), Apurva Wankhede, has refuted allegations of political parties that some of the electronic voting machines (EVMs) were tampered with during the counting of votes.
The election for the Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC) Chatuhshrungi Mandir ward’s by-election was held on Sunday. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Shiv Sena, Congress and an independent candidate had made the allegations.
The by-election was held following the resignation of sitting Congress corporator Nitin Jagtap. He was seeking re-election from the same ward and a total of five candidates were in the fray. Nationalist Congress Party’s Yusuf Pathan won the election by a margin of 142 votes with Jagtap coming second.
There was pandemonium at the counting centre at Art Gallery, Ghole Road, after the sixth round of counting with political leaders objecting to the absence of seal on the power panel of the control unit of the EVMs.
Returning officer zonal commissioner Dnyaneshwar Molok’s request for written objections from candidates who were insisting on re-polling fell on deaf ears. The objections were overruled by Molok and the counting was resumed under police protection after two hours.
Out of the 13 counting units used in the polls, seventh, 11th and 13th lacked the seal on the power panel of the control unit. Molok had pointed to the seals on the result section and the ballot section of the control unit being intact. Wankhede also seconded Molok’s observation.