TMC MP Derek O'Brien. Photo/ANI
TMC MP Derek O'Brien. Photo/ANI

Don't rush into simultaneous polls: Trinamool MP

ANI | Updated: Jul 03, 2019 18:55 IST

New Delhi [India], July 3 (ANI): Demanding return to the use of ballot papers, Trinamool Congress on Wednesday said that opposing Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) does not mean that one is against technology.
Party lawmaker Derek O'Brien also urged the government to not rush into 'One Nation, One Election'.
"EVMs has been a very huge problem. We must not conclude or think if you are anti-EVM you are against technology. When the technology does not guarantee perfection then you need to question the technology. We want ballot papers," he said in the Rajya Sabha.
Initiating a Short Duration Discussion of Electoral Reforms, he listed several issues in the present electoral system, including interruptions of international companies during polls, misuse of data, social media and EVMs.
"It's time we legislate on electoral reforms," he said suggesting to amend the Constitution or bring legislation as to how the election commissioners are appointed.
Seeking to introduce Data Protection Bill, O'Brien said the issue of electoral reforms has been discussed many times in the Upper House but nothing has happened on it.
"We have to debate, deliberate and it's time we also legislate on electoral reforms," he said.
O'Brien urged the government to discuss One Nation, One Election with experts.
"Our view is that let's not rush into something. Discuss with constitutional experts and electoral experts, circulate a white paper and the get the political parties involved," he said.
He said electoral reforms have always been an electoral issue for the Trinamool Congress and for this purpose, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wrote a book called Janata Darbar.
"Electoral reforms are part of our DNA. In the last 21 years, in every election we fought, electoral reform has always been in our manifesto," he said raising questions over several decisions of the Election Commission during Lok Sabha polls including curtailing of campaign in West Bengal for 28 hours without giving notice to the state government.
Quoting Baba Saheb Ambedkar's speech, O'Brien said the tenure of the Election Commissioner cannot be made fixed and secure if there is no provision in the Constitution to prevent a "fool" or a "naive"or a person who is likely to be under the thumb of the executive from getting appointed to the post.
Raising concerns over misuse of data in elections, the Trinamool Congress leader said it was very good to see that women voted more in Lok Sabha polls. (ANI)