The opposition parties, who have been expressing severe concerns over usage of EVMs in polls and demanding restoration of ballot papers, have decided to meet the Election Commission on Monday. This decision was taken last evening at a meeting of the opposition parties in New Delhi, attended by leaders of more than 20 political parties.
It may be recalled that several opposition parties have been claiming that only two-three countries are using EVMs and the rest have reverted to the ballot paper system following complaints of malfunctioning of these machines.
However, the Congress, while supporting the demand, has maintained that since the Lok Sabha election is just around the corner, the EC should ensure counting of paper trail in 50 per cent booths across the country to ensure there is no doubt in the minds of the voters.
The Opposition leaders met yesterday at the Constitution Club in New Delhi to on EVM tampering. The ‘Save the Nation, Save the Democracy’ meeting was called by the Congress to discuss a joint strategy on the issue of EVMs.
Questioning the efficacy of the EVMs, the opposition parties have demanded that the Election Commission revert to paper ballots to hold the Lok Sabha elections. The Election Commission has rejected the Opposition demand.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, AP Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah, Ram Gopal Yadav (SP), Satish Chandra Mishra (BSP), Kanimozhi (DMK), Derek O’Brien (TMC), D Raja (CPI), T K Rangarajan (CPM), Manoj Jha (RD), Sanjay Singh (AAP), and Jayant Chaudhary (RLD), among others, attended the meeting, the sources said.
However, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora again asserted that they are not going back to the ballot boxes. “We have been using EVMs for more than two decades now. No way are we going back to the ballot boxes. Some political parties demanded that VVPATs be used in all polling booths. Some parties demanded that results from all EVMs be matched with VVPAT slips. Commission has informed the political parties that VVPATs will be used in all polling booths countrywide in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections,” said Arora.