16 opposition parties meets EC officials over EVM tampering:say faith of people in EVMs has ‘eroded’

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Opposition parties on Monday decided to take up unitedly with the Election Commission (EC) the issue of alleged EVM tampering in elections held in various states recently.

Leaders of various opposition parties on Monday met in Parliament and decided to jointly meet the Election Commission, demanding that their concerns on the issue be addressed.

Sixteen Opposition parties today urged the Election Commission to revert to the paper ballot system, claiming the faith of the people in the EVMs has “eroded”.

Representatives of parties including Congress, BSP, DMK, Trinamool Congress and the Left met top EC officials to demand reintroduction of the ballot paper system.

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Various opposition parties today decided to take up unitedly with the Election Commission the issue of alleged EVM tampering in the recently-held elections and put forth the demand that upcoming polls be held with 50 per cent use of VVPAT (Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail) and ballot paper for elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh slated later this year.

“This will help check the voting system and dispel all doubts about their use in elections,” said a leader

The Election Commission has recently announced that it would replace more than 9 lakh EVMs with the advanced M3 machines ahead of the 2019 General Elections. These M3 machines reportedly stop working if tampered with.

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The opposition parties observed that free and fair elections are the basic founding blocks on which the entire edifice of country has been maintained. “Any erosion of these basic principles which sustain this edifice needs to be addressed forthwith and in the right earnest,” said another leader.

Among those present at today’s strategy meeting held at Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad’s chamber in Parliament included Congress leaders Ahmed Patel, Anand Sharma, Kapil Sibal and Vivek Tankha, besides JDU leader Ali Anwar Ansari, TMC leader Sukhendu Sekhar Roy, BSP leader Satish Misra and SP leader Neeraj Shekhar.

NCP leader Majeed Memon, CPI leader D Raja and RJD leader J P Narain Yadav were also present during the meeting and all decided to strongly raise the issue with the EC.

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Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today claimed that the poll body was acting like “Dhritarashtra” to help son “Duryodhana” (BJP) win the polls.

He alleged that the Commission’s only intention was to bring the BJP to power in poll-bound states and that is why it was not paying heed to his request to investigate defective EVMs.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today urged for the replacement of EVMs with ballot paper, saying “old is always gold”.