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Satara Lok Sabha bypoll EVM 'snag': Congress says shocking incident

Bypoll for Satara Lok Sabha constituency was held simultaneously with the Assembly polls on October 21

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

The BJP lost the Phulpur bypolls held in March, 2018

The Congress on Tuesday termed "very shocking" the alleged malfunctioning of an EVM during the bypoll to Satara Lok Sabha seat which villagers claimed resulted into votes being cast in favour of any candidate automatically going to the BJP contestant.

Bypoll for Satara Lok Sabha constituency was held simultaneously with the Assembly polls on October 21. Sitting MP and former NCP leader Udayanraje Bhosale is in the fray on a BJP ticket against Shrinivas Patil of the NCP.

Maharashtra Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant on Tuesday said people are wondering how could malfunctioning of any Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) in the country leads to all votes getting transferring into the BJP's account.

He claimed exit poll predictions aired by news channels are not factual.

Most of the exit poll surveys predicted a resounding victory for the BJP-led NDA in Maharashtra elections, results of which will be announced on October 24.

Sawant also demanded that news channels which aired the exit poll surveys declare constituency-wise results.

Voters in Navlewadi village in Satara have claimed that malfunctioning of an EVM during the Lok Sabha bypoll resulted into votes cast in favour of NCP contestant Patil going into the "account" of Bhosale of BJP.

Election officials have denied the claim of villagers.

"It is a very shocking incident. Each vote cast was going into the BJP's favour. People are wondering how come each malfunctioning EVM in the country contributes to the BJP's account," Sawant said.

The India Today-Axis exit poll projected 166-194 seats for the BJP-Shiv Sena combine in the 288-member assembly and 72-90 for the opposition Congress-NCP alliance.

The simple majority mark in the state is 145.

The exit poll by News18-IPSOS gave the BJP a near-majority on its own by predicting a whopping 142 seats for the party and 102 for its ally Shiv Sena.

The Congress and NCP, who together ruled Maharashtra for 15 years (1999-2014), are projected to bag just 17 and 22 seats, respectively, it has forecast.

The Congress and the NCP had won 41 and 42 seats, respectively, in the 2014 assembly elections. The BJP and the Shiv Sena had bagged 122 and 63 segments, respectively.

The ABP-C Voter predicted 204 seats for the BJP-Shiv Sena and 69 for the Congress-NCP.

First Published: Tue, October 22 2019. 20:10 IST