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‘Ensure 50% EVM Results are Matched and Cross-checked With VVPAT’: 23 Opposition Parties Write to ECI, Meet Officials

Chandrababu Naidu underlined that the 23 parties which met the ECI represented 69% of the voters.

Several Opposition party leaders, including Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday, February 1, wrote a detailed letter to the Election Commission of India (ECI) to urge the commission to ensure that 50 per cent EVM results are matched and crosschecked with the voter-verifiable paper audit trails (VVPAT) before the declaration of results in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

The politicians pointed out that their letter carries the assent of 70 per cent of the electorate. “As widely reported and known in the public domain, in the recently concluded elections in the five states in December 2018, there were many instances of EVMs malfunctioning in alarmingly high numbers,” the letter addressed to Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa stated. They also cited that there were instances of power outages, failure of CCTV cameras at the strong rooms and the detection of signals of wireless/mobile networks of a particular telecom operator in the vicinity of polling centres and strong rooms.

The leaders underlined that all these suspicious activities and incidents raise serious doubts about the credibility of EVMs and the purity of the entire electoral process.

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On Monday, February 4, the leaders of 23 political parties met Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa, seeking redressal of the issue of alleged tampering of EVMs before the upcoming Parliamentary elections.

Speaking to the media, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said, “If a vote polled for one party goes to another party, it is against democracy.”

Andhra Chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu underlined that the 23 parties which met the ECI represented 69 per cent of the voters. “Even now they are counting only one per cent (of VVPAT). We have demanded total transparency. Even developed countries are using ballot papers. But since there is no time we have demanded that 50 per cent VVPAT slips be counted. For democracy, for creating confidence, they can do that job. Since everybody is having a doubt it is the duty of the Election Commission to convince people that it is undoubtedly,” Naidu said.

The following politicians met the ECI officials: Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mallikarjun Kharge, Ahmed Patel and Anand Sharma of the Congress, Chandrababu Naidu (Telugu Desam Party), Majid Memon (Nationalist Congress Party), Derek O’Brien (Trinamool Congress), Ramgopal Yadav (Samajwadi Party), Satish Chandra Misra (Bahujan Samaj Party), Omar Abdullah (National Conference), Mohd Salim and T K Rangarajan (Communist Party of India-Marxist), Manoj Jha (Rashtriya Janata Dal), Sanjay Singh (Aam Aadmi Party), D Raja (Communist Party of India), Danish Ali (Janata Dal-Secular), N K Premchandran (Revolutionary Socialist Party), Badruddin Ajmal (All India United Democratic Front) and KG Kenye (Naga People’s Front).

(With PTI inputs)

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