Before the formation of any kind of “mahagathbandhan” for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, 17 Opposition parties led by Congress have come together to demand the use of ballot papers in the upcoming 2019 general elections.
On Monday, a joint meeting will be conducted among the opposition parties, then they will push the matter in the Parliament and later next week the issue will be raised in front of the Election Commission of India(EC).
After the state assemblies poll results last year and earlier this year, the opposition parties alleged tampering with the EVM machines which led to the victory of Bharatiya Janata Party in those states. After these allegations, EC promised to introduce VVPAT machines before the 2019 general elections. But the opposition parties have said that electronic voting machines (EVMs), even those with voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPATs) are not acceptable.
Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien said, “This is a matter on which all opposition parties have agreed. We are planning to meet next week. We plan to go to EC and demand that the Lok Sabha election on ballot papers.”
According to The New Indian Express, the ballot boxes are demanded by Congress, TMC, Shiv Sena, DMK, RJD, CPI, CPI (M), TDP, BSP, SP, AAP, YSRCP, NCP and JD(S).
Rajeev Gowda, Congress spokesperson said,”The Congress passed a resolution in the plenary session in which it expressed a preference for ballot papers because of the concerns about the EVMs. It is imperative to ensure full faith in the electoral process.”
A senior Congress leader on the demand of anonymity told Hindustan Times, A “broad understanding has already been reached between different opposition parties on what exactly the united group will demand from the government and EC.”
The opposition parties are working together to form a draft and get it approved by the top leaders before presenting it to the EC.
TMC chief Mamata Banerjee came to Delhi this week on a two-day visit and urged the opposition parties leaders to send a joint delegation to the EC and discuss the reports of tampering of the EVMs. She said, “All opposition parties should go to EC on this matter. There should be a joint delegation of opposition parties to EC”, reported News18.
However, BJP has refused any tampering with the EVMs. “They do not make a hue and cry when they win an election conducted through EVMs. These parties did not appear before the election commission when it invited them to appear before it and prove that EVMs can be tampered with. The problem, actually, is not with the EVM but with the intention of these parties,” said BJP’s media cell head Anil Baluni.