Chandrababu Naidu Leads Opposition Offensive Against EVMs, Demands 50% Verification of VVPAT Slips

Opposition raises doubts over EVMs, demands return to ballot papers

New Delhi: A united Opposition on Sunday launched a scathing attack on Electronic Voting Machines and called for a return to ballot papers. Led by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu, the parties said it had become even more necessary to count at least 50 per cent of the paper trail of VVPAT and they would raise the demand in the Supreme Court again.

Naidu, while addressing a press conference after the meeting, said even advanced countries such as Germany and the Netherlands have opted for ballot papers. “Paper trail is indispensable for EVMs. The confidence of the voter can only be restored through paper trail machines,” he said.

The Chief Minister, during the first phase of elections in his state, had raised the issue of faulty EVMs and complained to the Election Commission about the “level-playing field” being disturbed. “I have never seen such an insensitive, unrealistic, irresponsible and useless Election Commission. Do you make a mockery of democracy? The EC has turned into BJP branch office,” the TDP chief had said.

Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal, Congress leaders Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Singhvi were among those who attended the opposition meet in New Delhi on Sunday. Singhvi said, “Names of Lakhs of voters are deleted online without physical verification. There is a long list the parties have given to EC. It has become even more necessary to count at least 50% of the paper trail of VVPAT. We will demand the same in Supreme Court.”

He added, “Questions were raised after the first phase of elections, we don’t think the EC is paying adequate attention. If you press the button before X Party, vote goes to Y party. VVPAT displays only for 3 seconds, instead of 7 seconds.”

Kejriwal, meanwhile, launched a scathing attack on the BJP, accusing it of manipulating EVMs to gain more votes.

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