An unused EVM was discovered inside a trunk at a counting centre in Hailakandi district in Assam’s Barak Valley on Saturday, the eve of counting of votes for the assembly elections. District Election Officer Megh Nidhi Dahal, Returning Officer and the contesting candidates rushed to the spot upon hearing the news. The incident which led to initial tensions, dissipated after an inquiry by election officials concluded that the EVM was a reserved unit which was incorrectly placed inside the trunk. A release stated that no votes had been polled on the machine. It was opened before contesting candidates who were satisfied that there was no misuse.
"The reserved EVM was found in one of the trunks which had been brought to the counting centre for keeping the polled EVMs," Dahal was quoted in the release. He added, “The contesting candidates were satisfied that the EVM was a reserved EVM and no votes were polled therein. The machine was later taken to the EVM warehouse and kept in safe custody.” The unused EVM is said to have been immediately taken for safe storage to an EVM warehouse next to the Deputy Commissioner’s office.
The counting of votes polled in the three phase Assam Assembly elections is underway in 143 counting halls across the state.