Congress: Opt for paper ballots; with current rate it will take 150 years to get all VVPATs

Abhishek Manu Singhvi

New Delhi, April 17: The Congress Party on Monday addressed a press conference highlighting the issue of EVM tampering and suggested the use of Paper ballots for the upcoming elections.

Dr Abhishek Singhvi, the spokesperson for Congress started his address with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remark. Singhvi said, “PM says that there are many fabricated issues and one among them is the EVM issue.”

Highlighting that the issue is long being accepted by the court, Singhvi said Judiciary gave a final decision on the matter in 2013 and since 8th Oct, 2013 then it is not being addressed due to lack of political willingness.

Singhvi read the court’s order, “From material placed with both sides, we are satisfied that paper trail is an indispensable requirement of free & fair elections. Confidence of voters in EVMs can be put only with introduction of paper trail EVM with VVPAT. It ensures accuracy of voting system. With the intent of having fullest transparency in the system & to restore confidence of voters it is necessary to set up EVMs with VVPAT.”

He further said 30 months have passed and there are only 58,000 machines with VVPAT in the country as against 16 lakh EVMs.

Read More: EC sends SoS call to Law Minister: Time running out to buy VVPAT for 20019 elections

In Uttar Pradesh, he added, only for 20 constituencies we had VVPAT.

Singhvi highlighted that EC has asked for Rs 3000 crore if the government wants VVPAT for 2019 Elections. Taking a jibe at the Modi government, he said, “At the current rate, it’ll take nearly 150 yrs to have VVPAT in all constituencies in India.”

To this practical issue, Singhvi suggested the use of paper ballot for assembly elections due in 2019. He said, “If the SC says that paper trail is important, then till there is VVPAT in EVMs, should we not go back to a paper ballot?.”

He also pointed out that only one nation apart from India continues to use EVMs.

Read More: SC issues notice to EC, Centre for implementaion of VVPAT

Read More: Opposition raises EVM tampering with EC seeks use of paper ballots 

He reported that in Gujarat 2010, a returning officer from Vadodara had confirmed that there was manipulation in the voting machines. In Pune, a man claimed that his vote was not registered, when he voted for himself added Dr Singhvi

Wefornews Bureau

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