Even though, the government on Friday won its second battle on the issue of FDI in retail, the genuineness of the electronic voting machines installed in the parliament came again under question.
The electronic recording of the votes gave the government 123 against 109 of opposition. The 232 polled votes plus 16 abstentions makes the total at 248, which is not possible as the House strength is 244. The Rajya Sabha secretariat, till late night was checking in its computers the voting numbers on the request of junior parliamentary affairs minister Rajeev Shukla.
After scrutiny of records, the Rajya Sabha secretariat has announced final results. While 102 MPs voted for the opposition sponsored motion, 123 voted against and 19 members did not particiapte in voting. That makes total number 244.
The system does not allow anybody to vote twice and yet the glitch in the computerised electronic counters has sent the staff in a tizzy to go through the computer records to check the slip. Though four votes will not make a difference in the result, but the genuineness of the machines has been questioned once again.
The staff is also checking the attendance register to verify if any of the seven members who were not in Delhi had checked in to vote.
These were: hospitalised Murli Deora, cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, expelled BJD member Parimohan Mohapatra, JD(U)’s Bashistha Narain Singh and three TDP members Devender Goud T, Gundu Sudharani and YS Chowdhary.
Earlier, in the Lok Sabha as well the machines had malfunctioned. On Wednesday, when the speaker Meira Kumar called for division, the machine counted 471 MPs, with 218 favouring the opposition sponsored motion and 253 voting for the government. But, when the speaker called for second vote on the amendments in the FEMA, the machine increased the numbers of present MPs to 478, even while lobbies had been cleared before the first vote.