Ahmedabad: Hardik Patel, who is fighting for reservation to the Patidar community, on Friday alleged that the BJP would indulge in "golmaal" unfair practices during the upcoming Assembly polls in Gujarat, citing the rejection of 3,550 VVPAT machines by the Election Commission due to various defects.
"3,550 VVPAT machines failed in the first level test by the Election Commission. I am very much sure that BJP will fight the Assembly polls through unfair means only," Patel tweeted on Friday.
The Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) for Gujarat, B B Swa however said that they rejected 3,550 Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines as these were found to be defective in the first level checks (FLCs), a standard procedure followed ahead of polls, according to PTI.
चुनाव आयोग के पहले लेवल टेस्ट में ही 3550 VVPAT मशीनें फेल हुईं,में दावे के साथ कह सकता हूँ कि भाजपा गोलमाल करके ही अब चुनाव लड़ेगी ।।— Hardik Patel (@HardikPatel_) November 3, 2017
A total of 70,182 VVPAT machines, which are attached with EVM machines, will be used in the state Assembly polls to be held in two phases on December 9 and 14.
Swain refuted Patel's claims, saying the discovery of defective VVPATs should be taken in a positive manner.
"For this polls, we require 70,182 VVPATs. The EC has already made them available to us. Additional 4,150 such units were also given to us. Now, as per our standard procedure, we have conducted first level checks on 69,654 machines and found 3,550 units defective," Swain told PTI on Friday.
Apprehensions that the BJP may recite to unfair means were earlier raised by leaders like MNS Chief Raj Thackeray. Claiming that feedback from ground level showed widespread anger against the ruling BJP, Thackeray said it will be a miracle of EVM if the party wins in the present situation.
"Some visuals of Modi's public meetings are doing the round, which show that people are leaving the venue in groups during his address, which had never happened in the past. Even from this, one gets a message," he said.
"Despite this, if the BJP gets more than 150 seats, it should be considered a miracle by the electronic voting machines (EVMs)", he said.