EXC: 3 EVMs malfunction, NSUI accuses ABVP of tampering in DUSU polls

NEW DELHI | Updated: 24 September, 2023 8:55 pm IST
RSS' student wing ABVP gather around the ever-significant Swami Vivekananda statue to celebrate their victory at the DUSU Polls

NEW DELHI: The National Student Union of India (NSUI) has accused the ABVP of tampering with the Electronic Voting Machines in the DUSU elections after three among them malfunctioned midway during the count on Saturday

In the just concluded polls, three EVMs were found to have damaged digital displays with their numbers being barely legible for the candidates to read.

NSUI called the incident as a clear case of tampering even as one of their candidates Abhi Dahiya scraped through a win after a see-saw battle of nerves with ABVP’s Sushant Dhankar. Dahiya was trailing till almost the 20th round of the polls but pulled off a victory at the end of the 26th round with a little over 200 votes.

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“I have no idea why the EVMs started malfunctioning. Both our presidential candidate and vice-presidential candidate had gone to check the functioning of the machines and had found them to be functioning regularly with the display being clear at that time. We suspect ABVP has had some part to play in this,” said Shubham Chaudhary, the NSUI candidate, who was running for the post of joint secretary.

Similar concerns were aired by Dahiya later, who said, “Although I have won, there still remains an air of doubt over victories of other candidates as during the final two phases two of the machines had stopped working”.

ABVP, however, sidestepped these charges, calling the NSUI’s claims as a case of sour grapes.

“EVMs have always malfunctioned once or twice through the years but they have never been a problem in the election process. It is just because the NSUI lost it became a problem for them while we won with over 90,000 votes — the highest in DUSU’s history,”  said Akshit Dahiya, ABVP member and former president at DUSU.

Chandra Shekhar, the Election Commissioner, rubbished the tampering claims.

“These issues with the machines have happened during all of DUSU’s elections but ECI engineers from Hyderabad who are present fixed it right there and then. Candidates from both the sides had accompanied them to check if the repairs were to their liking,” he said.

ALSO READ: DU Polls: ABVP winning on all four seats in early leads; 1st such battle after 3 years

NSUI’s presidential candidate Hitesh Gulia mounted pressure on the DUSU election management body to ascertain the tampering incident during the counting.

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