Will consider concerns raised by political parties on EVMs : CEC

New Delhi, Aug 28 : The Chief Election Commissioner O.P Rawat said some political parties have raised the issue of  malfunctioning  of  EVMs and demanded that ballot papers should be used in all future elections including the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

The Opposition, led by the Congress, reiterated their stand that voters doubted the genuineness of EVMs and the issue to be sorted out.Congress leader  Abhishek Manu Singhvi said, “Transparency in election process is important to secure democracy, to make the election process secure, EVMs were introduced but this should come along a transparent process as 30% of the VVPATs that are to be used should be cross-checked.”

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, the Chief Election Commissioner O.P Rawat said, ” Some political parties have said that there are problems with EVMs and VVPATs. These things have been noted down by the Commission.”

“All political parties were very positive and constructive in suggesting ways and means to further improve the integrity of elections. The Commission will take all the suggestions, examine and whatever needs to be done to improve the delivery of elections will be done,CEC said.

“Some of the parties said going back to ballot is bad as it would bring back booth capturing,” Chief Election Commissioner added.

“In MP, 60 lakh electoral rolls were duplicates or invalid entries. Similarly in Rajasthan 45 lakh duplicate/fake voters’ have been found. If this is the case in just 2 states, one can imagine the scenario in the whole country,” Singhvi said.

Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) patron Sharad Yadav on Monday urged the Election Commission to clarify doubts regarding electronic voting machines (EVM) and demanded that elections should be held on ballot paper.

“There are doubts over the EVMs in the minds of the people. And despite the Supreme Court order of May 2017, the Commission has not fulfilled its promise over VVPATs,” Yadav told the media here.

He said people might not take part in elections fearing that EVMs were faulty. “Which is very dangerous. The elections should be held through ballot paper.”

Yadav pointed out that many developed countries were using paper ballot.

In all-party meeting convened by the Election Commission, Congress leader Mukul Wasnik has demanded that 2019 Lok Sabha elections should be conducted through Ballot papers  and TMC leader Kalyan Banerjee said there is a  consensus among political parties on the said issue.

AICC General Secretary Mukul Wasnik said, ” Ballot papers should be used in 2019 Lok Sabha polls  as it was adopted by other major democracies to help restore the credibility of the electoral process”.

Coming out in support of Congress ,TMC leader Kalyan Banerjee said, “The use of ballot papers is important for fair and impartial elections. We want to make it clear that we do not consider EVMs as tamper proof.”

Aam Aadmi Party leader Raghav Chadha said , ” If the poll panel is bent on conducting elections through electronic voting machines then preparation must be done to implement 100% VVPAT machines  and the paper trail verification  should be there in 20 % booths.

Upset with the current situation with more parties joining the Congress party chorus for  restoration of the old system of conducting elections through ballot papers to replace the electronic voting machines, BJP leader and Union Health Minister J P Nadda  said, ” Congress is unable to see the future , VVpat is of good use  and it should be used in future but Congress must remember that UPA government was formed through EVMs.

BSP leader Satish Chandra Mishra said, ” Election must be conducted through ballot papers.”

Chadha added that many developed nations in the West gave up EVMs to conduct elections by paper ballot as they believed EVMs were vulnerable to tampering.

“We hope that the Election Commission would take cognizance of the matter and would appropriately respond to our plea,” he said.

 

 

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