JD(U) welcomes VVPAT-based elections

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

New Delhi [India], May 13 (ANI): The Janata Dal (United) on Saturday welcomed the Election Commission's move to conduct future elections through verifiable paper audit trails (VVPATs) along with Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs). Speaking to ANI, JD (U) leader K.C. Tyagi said, "This is one of the issues we were pressing on. The Opposition welcomes this." JD (U) leader Sharad Yadav also said, "I welcome the decision taken by the Election Commission." During a meeting convened by the poll panel in which seven national parties and 35 state parties took part, Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi ensured 100 percent coverage of VVPATs in all future elections to the Parliament and State Assembly Elections. In the meeting, other issues were also covered including the alleged tampering of EVMs. The CEC referred the queries raised by some political parties about the incidents of alleged EVM manipulation at Bhind and Dholpur, during the recently concluded by-elections, and reiterated that baseless perceptions were generated about these incidents and there weren't any cases of biased vote results. The Commission highlighted the wide range of technical, administrative protocol and procedural safeguards that fortify the EVMs and the VVPATs against any sort of manipulation or tampering. He said the Commission is open to hear suggestions on how to further improve integrity and credibility of the EVMs. The CEC also informed the political representatives that the Commission would hold a challenge and offer opportunity to political parties to demonstrate that EVMs used in the recently concluded Assembly elections were tampered or that EVMs could be tampered even under the laid down technical and administrative safeguards. Zaidi urged the political parties to ensure their continuous and qualitative participation at all crucial preparatory steps for elections like FLC, randomisation of EVM/VVPAT/polling personnel, EVM preparation/candidate setting, mock poll, EVM sealing etc. The commission assured the political parties that their concerns and apprehensions regarding EVMs were taken note of and would be duly considered and addressed through forthcoming challenges and further necessary actions. (ANI)