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Published On: Tue, May 21st, 2019

Oppn parties turned out in strength before EC ,demanded VVPAT verification

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opposition_leaders (7)NEW DELHI : Opposition parties turned out in strength before the Election Commission today with a laundry list of demands they said were “confidence-building measures”.
Leaders of as many as 22 opposition parties met the Election Commission (EC) on Tuesday and demanded verification of VVPAT slips of randomly-selected polling stations before the counting of the votes polled in the just-concluded Lok Sabha election begins on May 23.
“Parties also spoke about how they were issues with EVMs even during polling. It was also discussed that at some polling booths, the votes were not getting registered and when a button was pressed, the vote would go to BJP,” Mr Azad said.
The 22 political parties that are collaborating to keep the BJP out of power, took a call on meeting the Commission after exit polls on Sunday predicted an easy victory for the BJP and its allies.

Ahmed Patel, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ashok Gehlot, Abhishek Manu Singhvi of the Congress, TDP’s Chandrababu Naidu, Satish Chandra Misra of the BSP, Sitaram Yechury of the CPI(M), D Raja of the CPI, Delhi Chief Minister and AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal, Derek O’Brien of the TMC, Ramgopal Yadav of the SP, Kanimozhi of the DMK, Manoj Jha (RJD), Majeed Memon (NCP), Devinder Rana (NC) are taking part in the meeting among others.

“On VVPATs and the EVM tally, the EC is yet to come out with a procedure in case there is a mismatch. Even if there is one mismatch in the VVPAT samples picked for counting and EVMs, to maintain the integrity of the electoral process, all VVPATs in that Assembly segment must be counted,” Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Yechury said.
The prime concern is the order of counting of national election votes on Thursday – the parties want the VVPAT (Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail) machines be considered first.
This morning, the Supreme Court dismissed a request seeking 100 per cent matching of VVPAT slips with the Voting Machines during counting, calling it “nonsense”.
After the meeting, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said: “The Supreme Court said five random VVPATs should be counted, but the EC has said that counting will be done first and then VVPATs will be counted. We have said – let them count the five first, so that if there is a problem, we can then count all of them before it is too late.”
The Commission has said they would take a call on the issue tomorrow morning, said Congress’s Abhishek Singhvi. The question of tallying VVPAT slips rose after political parties contended after the 2017 assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh that the voting machines were tampered to favour the BJP.

The delegation also flagged the movement of Electronic Voting Machines in five states – videos of which surface this morning — saying it reinforced their concerns about tampering. Clips of cellphone videos showed movement of the EVMs in Punjab, Haryana, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. The Election Commission has said the movement is routine.
Meanwhile,”The BJP condemns the opposition’s conduct and will tell humbly to accept their defeat with grace,” Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said. “EVM is good when Mamata Banerjee became West Bengal Chief Minister twice and Amarinder Singh became Punjab chief minister… But when there is expectation that we will win because people of this country want Narendra Modi to be prime minister again, then EVM is unreliable,” he was quoted as saying by news agency pti.(With Agency Inputs ).





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