News18 Daybreak | Chandrababu Naidu Leads Oppn Offensive Against EVMs and Other Stories You Need to Watch Out For

Apr 15, 2019, 03:23 AM

What to Watch Out For

Chandrababu Naidu leads Oppn offensive against EVMs, demands 50% verification of VVPAT slips

As candidates posture themselves in the electoral battleground, the opposition parties have taken up another fight, one against the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).

Following the controversy over EVM glitches, a united Opposition led by Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu in a press conference on Sunday said it had become necessary to count at least 50 per cent of the Voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT).

The party leaders including Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal, Congress leaders Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Singhvi also said that they would raise the issue with the Supreme Court.

A pressing issue: The press conference comes amid raging controversy over voter deletions and EVM malfunctioning.

According to the Telugu Desam Party chief “paper trail is indispensable for EVMs” and “the confidence of the voter can only be restored through paper trail machines.”

Referring to the top court’s April 8 direction that the VVPAT count be increased to five from one EVM per assembly constituency, Naidu said, “ We are not satisfied…we will file a fresh petition or move a review petition.”

The Chief Minister, during the first phase of elections in his state, had raised the issue of faulty EVMs and complained to the Election Commission about the “level-playing field” being disturbed. "I have never seen such an insensitive, unrealistic, irresponsible and useless Election Commission. Do you make a mockery of democracy? The EC has turned into BJP branch office," the TDP chief had said.

Meanwhile, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Sanghvi at the Sunday presser hit out at the Election Commission for not paying adequate attention. “If you press the button before X Party, vote goes to Y party. VVPAT displays only for 3 seconds, instead of 7 seconds,” he said.

Voting woes: Sanghvi was referring to the recent row that was sparked over claims of EVM malfunctioning in a polling booth in Uttar Pradesh’s Bijnor constituency. According to the claims, the EVM button when pressed for the Bahujan Samaj Party would result in votes for the BJP.

The EC, however, rubbished the claims a day after BSP supremo Mayawati urged the poll panel “to find a solution to people’s satisfaction”. A complaint was also lodged against a BSP agent at the polling booth for allegedly spreading “fake news”.

The poll body has also come under fire over cases of rampant voter deletions, which were reported during the first phase particularly in the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

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