Panaji, April 26 (IANS) Amid reports on news and social media that a malfunctioning EVM at the South Goa Lok Sabha constituency had cast erroneously 17 votes for the BJP during a mock poll on April 23, Goa’s Chief Electoral Officer Kunal on Friday clarified that the 17 unaccounted votes had, in fact, been credited to the Congress.
In a statement issued on Friday, after reports about the faulty EVM crediting BJP with unaccounted votes went viral on social media, Kunal said that the rumours in circulation were “false, malicious and motivated”.
“It is clarified that the allegation of 17 votes being cast for BJP candidate during the first mock-poll with the defective machine is completely false, misleading and factually incorrect. In fact, during the said mock-poll, 17 votes were recorded in favour of the Indian National Congress’ Cosme Francisco Caitano Sardinha,” Kunal said.
The controversy first erupted after Aam Aadmi Party’s South Goa candidate Elvis Gomes tweeted about the malfunctioning EVM urging a mock-poll at the polling station 31 in Cuncolim assembly constituency segment on April 23, when polls to Goa’s two Lok Sabha seats were conducted.
Kunal claims that the EVMs and the VVPAT machines were replaced immediately and polling was conducted using new equipment from a reserve pool.
“The political parties, candidates and general public are informed that during the mock poll, the EVM was found to be malfunctioning, due to which it was replaced with a completely new set from the reserve pool,” Kunal said in his statement.