EC all-party meeting: Congress demands use of ballot papers in 2019 Lok Sabha Polls

election commission

New Delhi, Aug 27 : Ahead of an all-party meeting called by the Election Commission on Monday, the Congress party has once again appealed the poll panel in writing reiterating its demand that the 2019 Lok Sabha elections be conducted using ballot papers instead of EVMs. The party had moved a resolution in this regard in its 84th plenary session in March.

The main Opposition party’s letter to the commission comes as part of its request to hold the general elections in a transparent manner, news agency ANI said, citing sources. The EC is likely to discuss poll preparedness across the country during the meeting.

At least 17 parties, including the National Democratic Alliance ally Shiv Sena, have been pitching for returning to ballot papers for fair and impartial elections.

These include the Congress, Trinamool Congress (TMC), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Janata Dal(Secular) (JD-S), Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Samajwadi Party, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Communist Party of India (CPI), YSR Congress, Kerala Congress Mani (KCM) and AIUDF.

The Opposition parties will also point out that the election expenses of political parties must also be limited along with the candidates.

The poll panel has called the meeting with seven national and 51 state recognised political parties to discuss various electoral issues such as electoral rolls, limiting political parties’ expenditure and timely submission of annual audited reports by parties among other things.

It also has not mentioned simultaneous polls in its official agenda of the meet released to the press, the issue is likely to come up for discussion. A majority of opposition parties have already told the Law Commission that they do not consider this proposal as practical or desirable.

The agenda for the meeting includes discussion on how to improve “accuracy, transparency and inclusiveness” of electoral rolls, measures to encourage enhanced representation of women in the political process, issues related to expenditure ceiling for parties, timely submission of annual audited reports and election expenditure reports among other things.

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