Ballot papers for 2019 Lok Sabha polls :17 political parties to approach EC

Chief Election Commissioner of India O.P. Rawat
Chief Election Commissioner of India O.P. Rawat. (File Photo: IANS)

New Delhi, Aug 2: Seventeen political parties have approached the Election Commission, demanding that 2019 general elections should be conducted on ballot paper.

Prominent political parties have called for the replacement of EVMs with ballot paper and expressed concerns about the non-transparent nature of the EVMs, which store the vote in the form of electronic charges that can be manipulated using the right software and access to the EVMs themselves.

The 17 parties include the Congress, Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party, Mayawati’s BSP, Sharad Pawar’s NCP, Lalu Yadav’s RJD, IUML, Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP, YSR, south parties DMK, HD Kumaraswamy’s JDS, Kerala Congress Mani, Left parties CPI and CPM andBanerjee’s Trinamool Congress. Parties have alleged that EVMs had been tampered and demanded the reintroduction of the ballot paper voting system.

Mamata Banerjee had stated, “EVMs can be tampered with, so let’s go back to the old system,” Mamata said here in an informal interaction with media.

In June, Chief Election Commissioner O.P. Rawat had ruled out any possibility of bringing back ballot papers for elections and claimed that EVMs were being made a ‘scapegoat’ as the machines cannot speak and “political parties needed to blame someone or something for their defeat”.

The TMC was part of the 13-party delegation meeting the Election Commission to demand that upcoming polls be held with 50 per cent use of paper trail of EVM voting and ballot paper.

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