21 Opposition parties led by N Chandrababu Naidu meet EC over VVPAT-EVM Verification Issue

A delegation of 21 opposition parties led by Telugu Desam Party President N Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday knocked the Election Commission with a demand to verify 100% VVPAT slips with EVMs in case a mismatch is found during counting from any assembly segment. The Opposition parties also demanded that the verification of VVPAT Slips should be done at the beginning of the counting process.

A High-level Delegation including Congress Leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal among others met the ECI Officials and submitted a memorandum.

Speaking to media after meeting the ECI in the national capital, Congress Leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said, ‘We raised these same issues in last 1.5 months. We asked the Poll Commission why have they not responded to our concern yet. Strangely, EC heard us for almost an hour and they assured us that they will meet again tomorrow morning to consider primarily these 2 issues.’

While Telugu Desam Party (TDP) Chief N Chandrababu Naidu said that we have demanded that all VVPAT slips should be verified with EVM in case a discrepancy is found in any during the counting of votes on May 23. He added that even Former Election Commissioners have also back our demand.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister also said that Former President Pranab Mukherjee also said that EC should make the process transparent and should create among voters.

Asserting that the Poll Body has a problem with our demand, TDP Boss said that we have repeatedly met the EC over the issue but it seems like EC has a problem with our demand.

Earlier in the day, all the opposition parties met at Constitution Club to muster the post-poll scenario and discuss their EVM Concerns. Opposition Leaders including Ashok Gehlot, Ahmed Patel, N Chandrababu Naidu, Derek O’Brien, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Sitaram Yechury among others met in the national capital.

‘Allegations of EVM tampering for manipulation of the voters’ verdict are shameful for a democracy like India. The former President of India has also opined that it is the duty of the EC to restore the confidence of Indian voters by ensuring transparency in the election process’, tweeted N Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday.

It should be noted that 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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