Opposition meet EC ask for tallying of VVPAT-EVMs to be done before counting
New Delhi, May 21: Leaders of Opposition parties met Election Commission (EC) officials on Tuesday to urge the panel to spell out the mechanisms to address any mismatch between voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) and electronic voting machine (EVM) tallies during the counting of votes on Thursday.
In their memorandum to the Election Commision, the Opposition parties claimed that EVM guidelines were flouted during the Lok Sabha election and demanded VVPAT verification. In the memorandum, the Opposition leaders have also demanded that if any discrepancy is found during the VVPAT verification, 100 percent counting of paper slips of VVPATs of all polling stations of that Assembly segment should be done.
Speaking to reporters after meeting the Election Commission, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad spoke on the issue on EVM machines "being moved around".
Abhishek Manu Singh said, "They (EC) told us that they have an open mind about it (the issue). In the past 1.5 months, we have raised the same issues in writing. Now we have asked the EC that why they haven't responded. We are only asking for counting of 100 percent of VVPATs. Why should you have them as decorative pieces after finding a sample problem?
Chandrababu Naidu said that the Opposition leaders were asking the Election Commission "respect the mandate". "People's mandate cannot be manipulated. We've been fighting continuously." He went on to say that the tallying of EVMs and VVPAT slips was like taking a blood sample for the body to check if there is any "pollution" in the body. He also added that the if the blood reports aren't acted upon then there will be "cancer".
Naidu has been moving around across the country and has held several rounds of discussions with top Opposition leaders in a bid to unite them and form an alliance to stake claim to form the next government in case the NDA falls short of the majority mark.
The opposition parties have been complaining about EVM malfunctioning and demanding the use of ballot papers from even before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.