MP bypolls: Congress demands ballot paper after VVPAT dispenses only BJP tickets in Bhind

Slated for bypolls on April 9, Madhya Pradesh finds itself in the EVM tampering row as Congress today demanded paper ballots to replace EVMs.

The Congress party today demanded Electronic Voting Machine (EVMs) to be replaced with paper ballots in the upcoming Madhya Pradesh Assembly bypolls over EVM tampering controversy.

This comes after the party claimed that a demo of the Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) exposed that it can be 'managed'.

"Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee President Arun Yadav has written to the Chief Election Commissioner demanding that the bypolls on April 9 be held using ballot papers as the Congress is sure that the state government will try and influence the polls using unfair means to tamper EVMs," said state Congress Spokesperson KK Mishra.

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How was the VVPAT machine anomaly busted:

  1. On Friday, Madhya Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer, Saleena Singh was on tour of Bhind district where the Ater segment is due for by polls.
  2. During the tour, Singh was asked by reporters to demonstrate the VVPAT system, which is being used for the first time in Madhya Pradesh.
  3. During the demonstration, the machine threw slips with BJP symbol, irrespective of any button that was pressed.
  4. The Congress claims that Singh then warned media-persons against exposing this anomaly.

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WHAT IS VVPAT MACHINE?

The VVPAT machine gives out a slip with the symbol of the party the person has voted for.

It aims to dispel doubts in minds of voters that EVMs can be 'managed'.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission of India (ECI) sought a report from the Bhind district administration on media reports that a demo of the VVPAT threw BJP receipts, irrespective of the button pressed.

On Saturday, Saleena Singh said that the VVPAT machine that threw up BJP receipts has not been calibrated and the demo was not done in Bhind.

"The VVPAT is a process that brings in greater transparency and will lay to rest all doubts regarding the working of EVMs," she said.

Also read: Madhya Pradesh: EC seeks report after complaints of VVPAT only dispensing BJP slips in Bhind

Also read: Manish Sisodia on EVMs row: 'If EVMs are holy cow, then is paper trail a cow dung?'

Also read: People and not EVMs should choose representatives: BSP chief Mayawati