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Suryakant Jena

Cuttack: Voting at two booths in separate places was adjourned during the conduct of the third phase polls in Odisha today following glitches in EVM and VVPAT machines.

According to sources, VVPAT machine of polling station no-196 of 87 Baramba constituency was changed after it developed some error. However, while replacing the VVPAT machine, the one meant for Lok Sabha constituency was mistakenly attached to the control unit and ballot unit meant for Assembly constituency, sources said.

The mistake came to fore after a voter complained about improper display of votes in VVPAT which were not in accordance to his vote.

The poll officials present at the booth confirmed about the error after conducting test vote as per provisions of Rule 49 MA of Conduct of Election Rules 1961 and established that the mistake was due to 'wrong pairing'  of the machines.

Polling has been adjourned immediately and sources said the State Chief Electoral Officer has recommended the Election Commission of India for fresh poll in the booth in accordance with section 58 (B) of RP Act,1951.

In another incident, polling in booth no 183 under Deogarh Assembly constituency was also adjourned following technical snags in pairing of EVMs and VVPAT machines. Recommendations have also been made for repoll in the booth.

This apart, several other incidents of disruption in polling were also reported from other places in the State. Polling was disrupted at booth no 180 of Jubilee Town area, booth no 1 at Kalinga panchayat in Khurda, booth no – 222 of Kamasasan village under Brahmagiri Assembly constituency.

Following incidents of snags, enraged locals created disturbances in several places of the State. Alleging fault in EVM, villagers smashed two voting machines inside booth no 75 at Balabhadrapur under Satyabadi constituency of Puri. Similarly, clash erupted over booth rigging allegations between supporters of two political parties outside booth no 1 at Kalinga panchayat in Khurda.

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