CCTV gadgets play spoilsport in some Mandrem polling booths


MANDREM: Most booths in chief minister, Laxmikant Parsekar’s Mandrem constituency recorded over 70% voting by 3pm. The flow of voters remained steady in the first half of the day with some booths witnessing heavy rush between 11am and 1pm.

The chief electoral office had made arrangement for CCTV cameras, but at many booths the surveillance was not foolproof. At three booths the STOI team visited in the afternoon the video recording had to be stopped due to technical faults. The gadgets supported by battery had to be shut down as the battery drained out.

Dario Gonsalves, presiding officer at Arambol, said the battery at the booth was not functioning. “I put the gadgets for recharging so that at least recording of the last one hour of voting could be accessed,” said Gonsalves.

Around 80% of the electorate had cast their votes at the booth by 3.30pm. The voting process slowed down a bit in the afternoon due to the voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) machine.

“Elderly people took a long while voting,” he said.

Ranjit Rane, a polling officer, said that at little past 3pm, voting picked up. Around 68-70% had cast their votes, but they could record the session only for some time due to battery fault.

Close rivals, Parsekar and Congress’ Dayanand Sopte were seen moving in the constituency with their respective band of supporters.

However, Goa Surakha Manch-Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party-Shiv Sena alliance candidate, Sridhar Mandrekar was seen in the verandah of his house, busy answering phone calls, as if he had nothing to worry about.
It was anticipated that Mandrekar with the RSS backing would eat into the vote share of BJP, if not, at the very least, put up a strong fight. But it wasn’t the case, a source said.
Expressing confidence of securing 8,000 plus votes, Mandrekar admitted that he did not get as much support from the RSS, as he had expected.