In the third phase of the Lok Sabha elections, a total of 117 constituencies across 13 states and 2 Union Territories are voting today. All 20 seats of Kerala and all 26 seats of Gujarat are undergoing polls today in a single phase.
Among the news reports of elections and voting percentages coming in, there was much discussion over social media by certain users about a polling booth in Kerala registering votes only for ‘Lotus’, the BJP election symbol.
Even Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram, Shashi Tharoor complained that there is ‘rigging’ in EVMs and the EC should look into the issue.
In Kovalam, the UDF alleged that the EVMs in booth number 151 at Madhava Vilasam School, near Chowara, Kovalam is malfunctioning and they have stopped the polling after 76 votes were cast because all votes were allegedly going to ‘Lotus’.
Even Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan and leader of opposition Ramesh Chinnithala have also complained about EVM glitches. However, the claim about votes being cast ‘only to Lotus’ seem to have been fanned more by media.
The Election Commission denied the allegations and stated that no such thing is happening.
Surprisingly, even a journalist at the Indian Express, Liz Matthew, shared in a Tweet that EVMs at the booth 151 in Kovalam is registering votes only for ‘Lotus’.
Despite clarification by India Today’s Paulomi Saha that the CEO, Kerala has stated that they had checked the booth in question and no such thing is happening, Matthews insisted that a voter has claimed so.
However, the district collector of Kovalam, K Vasuki, after conducting an inspection of the polling booth, had shared in a Facebook video that the allegations are baseless. The Election Commission also stated that rumours are being spread about EVMs registering votes only for Lotus.
Vasuki clarified that after 76 votes, the machine at that particular polling booth had jammed and was not taking new votes. So, after an inspection, the particular machine was replaced as per EC norms. After the EVM was replaced by the election officials, polling has continued in the booth normally.