IN several Lok Sabha constituencies in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, thousands of votes were recorded to have been counted in excess of the total votes cast, and in a few cases, counted votes were substantially less than votes cast.

The constituencies where such discrepancies were found include Patna Sahib, Jehanabad and Begusarai in Bihar and Farrukhabad and Badaun in UP. In Jehanabad, the votes polled are in excess of the votes counted by 23,079. Such a large number of unaccounted-for votes, if counted, might have changed the outcome in this seat where the margin of victory of the JDU candidate over the RJD candidate was just 1,751 votes.

CPIML demands an investigation into such disturbing discrepancies. In light of these and other growing questions about the credibility and reliability of EVMs, CPIML demands a return to paper ballots to respect the growing public perceptions that the electoral process using EVMs lacks transparency and is vulnerable to manipulations, especially given the erosion of the Election Commission’s own credibility under the Modi regime.