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EVMs malfunction during Palghar, Bhandara-Gondia by-polls

Voting in the Palghar and Bhandara-Gondia Lok Sabha by-polls in Maharashtra was on Monday marred by reported malfunctioning of EVMs in some booths.

Bharip Bahujan Mahasangh leader and former MP Prakash Ambedkar said around 450 Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) malfunctioned.

Besides, around 15,000 voters from Mali Ali, Mavanda, Navale and Nandanvan villages in Palghar’s Vasai tehsil boycotted polling, citing lack of developmental works in their area.

Bahujan Vikas Aghadi leader Hitendra Thakur claimed that “the entire election commission machinery is working on behalf of the BJP in Palghar.”

There were phone calls from the office of a local BJP functionary in Palghar to housing societies about making arrangements for snacks and refreshments for member-voters, Thakur said.

In Palghar, the bypoll was necessitated following the death of sitting BJP MP Chintaman Wanaga. The BJP’s bickering ally Shiv Sena has fielded the late MP’s son, Srinivas Wanaga, in a bid to garner the sympathy vote.

The BJP has put up former Congress minister Rajendra Gavit and the Bahujan Vikas Aghadi is also in the fray with the nomination of its ex-MP Baliram Jadhav.

Kiran Raja Gahla of the CPI-M, which has a base in Talasari and Dahanu areas, and former MP Damu Shingada (Congress) are also contesting in a multi-cornered fight from the Palghar seat, reserved for Scheduled Tribes (ST).

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