No Ballot Papers, Use EVMs in MCD Polls: EC Snubs Kejriwal, Maken

After UP elections, several leaders have questioned the “reliability” of electronic voting machines.

The Election Commission on Tuesday rejected Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s demand to use ballot papers instead of EVMs for the Delhi Municipal Corporation elections, which will be held on 22 April.

Earlier, taking a cue from BSP chief Mayawati, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had expressed reservations about the use of Electronic Voting Machines in the civic body polls.

Kejriwal has directed Delhi Chief Secretary MM Kutty to write to the State Election Commission in this regard.

“The Chief Minister has directed the chief secretary to ask the state election office to hold MCD elections through ballot papers,” a source in the CM’s office said.

AAP's Jarnail Singh, who lost to former Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal from Lambi, also demanded use of ballots in the upcoming elections.

Although we accept defeat, we have serious doubts over the results in Punjab. There are several villages in the Lambi constituency where we have received less votes than the number of volunteers we have there. For the first time, voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) was used in Punjab. When we asked the Returning Officer to tally the number of votes to the VVPATs, he declined to do so.

The move comes close on the heels of Mayawati questioning the "reliability" of electronic voting machines (EVMs). She had alleged that they were tampered with in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, where her party suffered a debacle.

Also Read: Faulty EVMs to be Blamed? Muslims Change the Rules in UP Polls

Opposition Reacts

BJP leader Manoj Tiwari slammed Kejriwal’s move and challenged him to call for re-elections of the Delhi Assembly if he “does not have faith in EVMs”

However, Kejriwal unexpectedly found support from the Delhi Congress after its chief Ajay Maken suggested that ballot papers be used in place of EVMs in the corporation polls.

The counting for the Delhi civic polls will take place on 25 April.

(With PTI inputs)