Election Equipment Engulfed: Fire Damages EVMs in Betul Amidst Lok Sabha Polls

Bus Fire

Betul (MP): In a startling event that unfolded in the Betul district of Madhya Pradesh, a bus transporting election officials and Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) was consumed by fire late Tuesday night. The blaze, which erupted near Gola village around 11 pm, was reportedly caused by an electrical spark within the vehicle. Despite the severity of the fire, which reduced the bus to ashes, there were no casualties among the polling staff or the driver, as confirmed by Betul District Magistrate Narendra Suryavanshi.

The bus was en route with election personnel and voting machines from six polling stations, specifically numbers 275 through 280, when the mishap occurred. Out of the six EVMs on board, four sustained significant damage, with at least one control unit or ballot unit being completely destroyed in the fire. The remaining two machines were reported safe.

The incident has raised concerns about the potential impact on the vote count recorded by the damaged EVMs. The District Magistrate stated that he would forward a detailed report to the Election Commission, which will then deliberate on the necessity of re-polling at the affected booths. This development comes in the wake of the third phase of Lok Sabha Elections 2024, which saw a voter turnout of 72.65 percent in the Betul constituency.

The swift response by the fire services prevented any harm to the election officials, highlighting the importance of emergency preparedness during the electoral process. The focus now shifts to the Election Commission’s decision regarding the integrity of the vote count and the possible need for re-polling in the compromised areas.

Bus Fire