Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Second and final phase of voting in Orissa is witnessing voters’ wrath against polling officers in most of the booths as till now, i.e.noon, the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) are not working.

In the first phase of election on April 16, EVM problems had affected voting in many booths. Voters had taken that to be technical defects. Many voters had gone back from the booths and the day’s last information from the Chief Election Officer had put the polling percentage at 52.6. But on April 17, the percentage was finally placed at 65.9. This enhancement was attributed to casting of votes beyond the voting time as that was allowed to compensate time lost due to defect in EVMs. This high rise in voting numbers was looked at askance in certain quarters, even though general public had accepted it as normal.

But the present scenario is so massive that many peoples suspect that the EVMs are tampered with.

The EVMs are high-tech machines created with excellent technical know-how and carry certificate of faultlessness on the basis of meticulous testing. They should not have shown such defects in normal condition; but they may develop defect only if tampered with, suggest techno-academics that we contacted.

No wonders, voters in a Cuttack booth have manhandled the polling staff suspecting tampering of the EVMs .

Apolitical intellectuals feel that there should be credible inquiry over non-functioning of the EVMs in such massive scale.