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Chhattisgarh CEO explains on ‘alleged mismatch’, former Chief Minister does not agree

As the vote counting is set to begin, Bhupesh Baghel, the former CHhattisgarh Chief Minister and candidate from Rajnandgaon Lok Sabha seat, went public saying election commission had given numbers to the machines being utilized in electoral exercise. The numbering included ballot unit, control unit and VVPAT. He then goes on to say that information provided in form 17C suggests that many of machine numbers have been changed.

He expressed apprehension that this change of numbers influences thousands of votes and thus a complaint has been filed with the Chief Electoral Officer of Chhattisgarh.

The CEO Chhattisgarh was quick to respond and it said, “The alleged mismatch in EVMs number shared with the INC candidate of Rajnandgaon PC, is not based on facts. The EVMs used during polls are exactly according to the list of machines shared by Returning Officer after randomization with contesting candidates. ”

“The list of machines changed due to some mechanical/technical faults during poll and mock poll has also been shared with the candidates. Moreover, the polling agents have put on signatures on the paper seals used to seal the EVMs before start of polls.

During scrutiny the very next day of poll in presence of independent Observers, no such issue was raised by any of the contesting candidates All paper seals can be verified with it’s number mentioned in form 17(C) at the time of actual counting.

The unique number of Ballot, Control units and VVPATs can also be verified with lists shared before and after poll with the candidates. So allegation of the alleged change in EVMs after poll is baseless”, it added in its statement on X.

But the former Chief Minister is not satisfied and claimed that explanation putforth by CEO Chhattisgarh is factually wrong.