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Chandrababu Naidu meets EC over EVM failures, threatens protest


New Delhi, Apr 13: Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu has met the Election Commission (EC) to lodge a complaint about EVM malfunctioning across Andhra Pradesh during the first phase of the Lok Sabha Election 2019. He has threatened of a sit-in if there is no positive response from the election watchdog.

File photo of Chandrababu Naidu

"The Election Commission is an autonomous body. At the same time, they are working on instructions of (PM) Modi and the government of India," he told reporters after the meeting. "Election Commission is not cooperating with us," he said.

Naidu was accompanied by lawmakers and senior leaders of his Telugu Desam Party (TDP).

On Apr 11, after polling in a few districts of Andhra Pradesh was disrupted briefly due to malfunctioning of electronic voting machines Naidu had requested the EC for an extension of polling time in the state to compensate for the time lost due to technical glitches in EVMs.

Claiming that there was a "silent wave" in the state in his favour, Naidu on Friday accused the EC of India of making the election process a "big farce."

"This is a very big farce. Disaster for the nation. I can say it is a big confusion, big mess, big farce," Naidu said in a restless tone. He claimed that as per "official information" 4,583 EVMs got stuck in the state and noted that it was a "major crisis."

Valued at Rs 6,68,57,50,975, Chandrababu Naidu is Andhra's third richest candidate

"As senior leader I have to warn them (EC). Country should know. They should not commit any more these type of mistakes," Naidu added. The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief also said he would file a review petition in the Supreme Court over its order on counting of VVPAT slips.

"I am going to Delhi tomorrow (to meet the ECI officials). EC should answer why it did all this. After this we will go logically on EVMs," he said and reiterated the demand that the country revert to the old ballot paper system.

Voting took place for all the 25 Lok Sabha seats in Andhra Pradesh and for its 175 Assembly seats. The results will be out on May 23.

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