Now, opposition to focus on EVM manipulations

The non-BJP oppositions are jubilant with Mamata Banerjee’s mega `Unity of India’ rally, demonstrating the opposition unit to defeat Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls. Particularly they are  happy with the response it has received from the people of West Bengal and also presence of almost all prominent political party representative.

This said to be massive political conclave and opposition’s biggest show of strength in the country in recent years.  After the successful rally, the leaders met over tea to chalk-out future course of action. As many as leaders of 14 political parties participated in the tea hosted by Mamata.

Without attempting to form an alliance immediately or forming a national network of political parties indicating united fight against BJP, they have decided first to concentrate on alleged manipulations of EVMs by BJP. Immediately, Mamata Banerjee formed a four-member committee to go into depth of allegations, prepare consolidated report and submit the same to the Elections Commission of India with suitable recommendations.

The committee, comprising Abhishek Manu Singhvi (Congress), Akhilesh Yadav (Samajwadi Party), Satish Mishra (Bahujan Samaj Party) and Arvind Kejriwal (Aam Aadmi Party) will submit its recommendations to the EC for implementation and will press for wider use of VVPAT.

National Conference (NC) chairman Farooq Abdullah had called the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) “chor machine” while speaking at the rally and demanded that the ballot paper system be reinstated for the sake of transparency.

“The EVM is chor machine. Honestly speaking, it is so. Its use must be put to an end. Nowhere in the world is the machine used,” he said. He suggested that the opposition parties should approach the Election Commission and the President of India to stop the use of the EVM and bring back the old ballot papers for the sake of transparency.

Stressing that very little time was left for the Lok Sabha polls, Singhvi said: “We are not asking for returning to the physical ballot system immediately”. The VVPAT system should be enforced for proper verification of the ballots, he said, adding already four European countries have gone back to the use of physical ballot from EVMs.

Mishra said there were reports of EVM tampering in the recent state assembly elections in the country. “Hence, we believe it is necessary to go for electoral reforms”.

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