Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, BSP leder Satish Mishra, Andhra CM Chandra babu Naidu and other outside EC on Monday
Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, BSP leder Satish Mishra, Andhra CM Chandra babu Naidu and other outside EC on Monday

Opposition parties visit EC, demand 50 per cent vote counting through paper trail

ANI | Updated: Feb 04, 2019 20:45 IST

New Delhi [India], Feb 4 (ANI): Opposition parties led by Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Monday visited the Election Commission and requested the poll body to make mandatory the count of half of the votes of all electronic voting machines (EVMs) through paper trails.
Talking to media after visiting the poll panel, Azad said, “We had organised an all-party meeting and had decided to go to the Election Commission with our issues regarding EVMs. We have seen in past that no matter what symbol button is pressed, the vote goes to the BJP."
He said, "A lot of scuffles happened due to this reason at different polling stations. We have demanded that be it the Lok Sabha elections or state assembly elections, 50 per cent of votes should be counted through EVMs and 50 per cent of votes must be counted through paper trail and the paper trail must not be destroyed.”
He also said that while most political parties were of an opinion that ballot papers should be used for voting, the same demand was not being raised now due to the scarcity of time.
“A lot of political parties previously wanted to return back to ballot system but in the further meeting, it was decided that due to posterity of time, ballot paper usage would not be possible. Hence, we are demanding for the maximum transparency in EVMs,” Azad said.
Sharing the details of their discussion with the top poll body, Azad said, “The Election Commission has assured that some committee has been formed and after its report comes, it will be published before the elections. We, however, are of view that any action should not only be on the recommendation of the technical committee because they only look for technical aspects whereas in the field what machines work or not is only known to political parties.”
Azad was accompanied by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, BSP leader Satish Chandra Mishra, Samajwadi Party leader Ramgopal Yadav and CPI leader D Raja, among others.
After the meeting, Naidu said, “To bring transparency to the election process we should go back to the paper ballot but due to time constraint, we are demanding that 50% of VVPATs should be counted at random and be tallied with EVMs”.”
All other leaders also reiterated the same demand and said that half of the votes must be counted through the paper trail.
On February 1, opposition parties had met and announced that they will approach the Election Commission on Monday over the issue of alleged tampering of EVMs.
Addressing a press conference after attending the ‘Save the Nation, Save the Democracy’ meeting called by the Congress to discuss a joint strategy on EVMs, party president Rahul Gandhi had said, "On Monday at 5.30 pm, we  (opposition leaders) will go to the Election Commission over EVMs." (ANI)