Opposition raises EVM tampering with EC, seeks use of paper ballots

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Opposition raises EVM tampering with EC, seeks use of paper ballots

New Delhi, April 10 (IANS) Opposition parties on Monday approached the Election Commission expressing their “complete loss of faith” in Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and demanded using VVPAT (paper trail of voting) and paper ballots in upcoming polls.

A delegation of 13 opposition parties including Congress, Trinamool Congress, Nationalist Congress Party and Left parties among others met the poll panel following allegations of EVM tampering during the February-March assembly polls in five states as well as the Sunday by-polls in several states.

“Going by what happened in the recent polls, be it the people or political parties, all have lost faith in EVMs. Therefore, the Election Commission should revert to using the old system of paper ballot instead of EVMs,” senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said after the meeting.

“Representatives of 13 parties put forth their views about the EVMs to the EC. We told them that free and fair polls cannot be ensured unless EVMs are taken out of use,” he said.

Congress leader Anand Sharma said the poll panel has assured of calling an all-party meeting soon to discuss the concerns about the EVMs.

“The EC heard each political party patiently and the grievance was unanimous — lack of faith in EVMs. The EC assured that an all-party meeting will be convened soon and it will seriously examine our grievances,” he said.

Opposition parties, particularly the Congress, the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party and Aam Aadmi Party have been demanding reverting back to the paper ballots in place of the “tamper prone” EVMs.

The opposition parties’ meet with the EC came on a day when Delhi Chief Minister and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal blamed the poll panel for the “tampering” and accused it of favouring the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Kejriwal alleged that what was being dismissed as “EVM malfunction” was actually a case of tampering to ensure that the BJP gets the votes of even other parties.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.