Port Blair, Although peaceful polling was held in Andaman and Nicobar Islands on April 11 to the lone Lok Sabha seat from the A&N Islands Parliamentary Constituency but faults in EVMs and VVPATs slowed down the entire process which, according to many, ultimately resulted in less voting.
This election Andaman and Nicobar Islands witnessed nearly 5 per cent drop in polling percentage. While in 2014 the polling percentage was 70.47 this election the polling percentage was 64.85 per cent. Many now strongly believe that faulty EVMs and VVPATs were the reason behind less polling in Andaman.
Mr. Udit Prakash Rai,, the Returning Officer of the A&N Islands Parliamentary Constituency, told media persons that there were reports of faults in EVMs and VVPATS but those EVMs and VVPATs were replacedimmediately.
“Total 130 VVPATs and 10 EVMs were replaced during the election from all over the Islands,” Mr. Rai said.
Expressing concern over faulty EVMs and VVPATs, Mr Kuldeep Rai Sharma, the Congress candidate from Andaman and Nicobar Islands, said that nearly 5.5 per cent less polling was recorded in Andaman this election compared to last elections and said that faulty EVMs was the reason. He urged the Election Commission to look into this issue in coming elections.
“Due to faults in EVMs, and because of the time taken to repair and replace, people had to stand in long queue for a long time. Many who had to come from remote areaS reportedly went back without even casting vote,” alleged Mr Sharma.