For the best experience, open
on your mobile browser or Download our App.

Around 250 Voting Complaints During the Fifth Phase of Election in Uttar Pradesh

Out of the 250 complaints, more than 100 were related to malfunctioning of EVMs while 50 were related to crowding at voting stations and improper checking of identity cards of voters.
Voters in Jalaun. Photo: Election Commission of India

New Delhi: Around 250 complaints related to voting were reported in the fifth phase of the 2024 Lok Sabha election in Uttar Pradesh, said election officials. Voting was held on 14 seats, including the keenly-watched constituencies of Amethi, Rae Bareli, Faizabad and Kaiserganj.

Out of the 250 complaints, more than 100 were related to malfunctioning of EVMs while 50 were related to crowding at voting stations and improper checking of identity cards of voters, said UP chief election officer Navdeep Rinwa at a press conference on May 20.

Illustration: Pariplab Chakraborty

The other complaints were about polling parties putting pressure on voters to vote for a particular party, slow pace of voting, not allowing voters to vote with alternate identity proof documents, long queues, fake voting and people not getting voter slips, said Rinwa.

Although a couple of videos circulating on social media showed some voters in Amethi alleging that police used lathis on them to disperse them, Rinwa said there was no violence reported in the state.

“Voting was concluded peacefully,” he said.

The 14 seats that voted on May 20 were spread across 21 districts. They were Mohanlalganj, Rae Bareli, Amethi, Jalaun, Jhansi, Hamirpur, Banda, Fatehpur, Kaushambi, Barabanki, Faizabad, Kaiserganj, Gonda and Lucknow. The contests between Rahul Gandhi of the Congress and Dinesh Pratap Singh of the BJP in Rae Bareli and Smriti Irani (BJP) and K.L Sharma (Congress) in Amethi, were among the highlights of the fifth phase. The key seat of Faizabad, where the Ram Temple is located, and Kaiserganj, where tainted MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh’s son Karan Bhushan Singh contested as the BJP’s candidate, were also among the much-talked about constituencies.

Throughout voting on May 20, the Congress and its ally Samajwadi Party, raised complaints about BJP leaders and workers allegedly putting pressure on voters or about the slow speed of voting at various booths. In Rae Bareli, the Congress claimed that two dozen EVMs had malfunctioned.

“Is this a trick to change EVMs or to prevent voting? And even after six to seven days, you will keep adjusting the voting percentage, right,” the UP Congress asked the Election Commission of India in a post on X on May 20 morning.

The district election officer of Rae Bareli, however, clarified that no control units or ballot units were changed during voting till 9 am (when the question was raised). Only four VVPATs were changed, said the district election officer. During the mock poll, 20 control units, two ballot units and 21 VVPAT had been changed, added the official.

The Congress also claimed that people linked to the BJP candidate in Rae Bareli, Dinesh Pratap Singh, snatched the ballot box from Congress workers at booth 312 and intimidated them.

Rahul Gandhi personally inspected the voting at several centres, interacting and clicking photos with voters.

In Kaushambi, the Congress accused the BJP’s candidate and sitting MP Vinod Sonkar of flaunting the lotus symbol (the BJP’s official symbol) on the top pocket of his kurta inside the voting booth. District election officer Kaushambi said that the concerned official had been directed to take necessary action.

The Congress also alleged that in Banda, a booth agent of the BJP was openly walking around with a sample of the ballot paper near the polling booth and asking voters to vote for the BJP. Banda police said that the booth-in charge was taking necessary action against the booth agent.

While the fifth phase of voting in UP reported around 250 complaints, the complaints recorded in the fourth phase numbered around 150, with most of them (70) from Kannauj, where the SP president Akhilesh Yadav contested. Most of the complaints, 50-60, in the fourth phase were related to EVM malfunctions, said the Election Commission.

In the first phase of voting, in which eight seats went to the polls in west UP, the Election Commission took note of around 30 complaints on social media but did not have an exact count of the complaints as many were repetitive in nature.

In the second phase, the number of complaints recorded was 140-150.

The third phase saw a big jump in the complaints, recording around 250 such grievances and allegations of misconduct.

Most of them were related to alleged booth capturing (71), putting pressure to vote for a particular party (57), EVM malfunctions (36), improper way of checking of veiled women (19), cases of miscreants gathering outside polling stations (13), names not in voter list (8) and not receiving voter slips (2).

On a side note, in the fifth phase of voting, three booths in the Mehroni assembly segment in Lalitpur (part of Jhansi Lok Sabha constituency) recorded 100% voting, said officials.

Make a contribution to Independent Journalism
facebook twitter