Lok Sabha Polls: Delegation of 21 Opposition parties to meet EC over VVPAT-EVM Verification Issue

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A delegation of 21 opposition parties led by Telugu Desam Party President N Chandrababu Naidu will meet ECI officials on Tuesday. It is expected that opposition will pitch for the demand of cross-checking VVPAT with EVMs in an entire Assembly segment, in case a discrepancy is found in any polling booth during counting.

A high-level delegation will include Derek O’Brien of TMC, NCP Boss Sharad Pawar, Ahmed Patel of Congress, Satish Chandra Misra of BSP, CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, among others.

Earlier, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Sunday said that ‘We reiterate our demand to the ECI to count VVPATs in at least 50% of polling stations. VVPATs should be counted in 5 polling stations in each Assembly Constituency at the beginning of the counting process. In case of discrepancy, all VVPATs of Assembly Constituency shall be counted’.

Naidu had on Monday held a press conference over the issue in Amaravati. ‘Former Chief Election Commissioners of India, Sri Navin Chawla & Sri S. Y. Quraishi also support the demands put forth by us regarding VVPAT verification. Those who respect democracy are disappointed with how the EC conducted elections. Our fight to save democracy will continue’, said Naidu in a tweet on Monday.

READ: Lok Sabha Polls 2019: Top Court Directs EC to Increase VVPAT Verification from One to Five per Assembly Segment

The Top Court had on May 7 declined to increase the count for the verification of voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) slips with EVM from 5 to at least 50% in the ongoing national elections 2019.

Hearing the plea filed by 21 Opposition parties, the Top Court Bench headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi said at the outset that, ‘we are not willing to modify our order’.

Earlier hearing the petition filed by Opposition parties, the Highest Court had on April 8 directed the Election Commission to increase the number of VVPAT Verification from one to five in each assembly segment.

Before the Top Court order, only one VVPAT was crosschecked from each assembly segment/seat.

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