Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad (file photo)
Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad (file photo)

Prasad slams opposition for questioning EVMs, urges to discuss One Nation, One Election

ANI | Updated: Jul 03, 2019 21:38 IST

New Delhi (India), July 3 (ANI) Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Wednesday slammed the opposition parties for raising doubts over the credibility of EVMs and urged them to discuss with an open mind to find a way out for "One Nation, One Election".
Replying to a Short Duration Discussion on electoral reforms he said that Opposition should not blame EVMs for its defeat and should respect the mandate of the people.
"There was no hue and cry over EVMs when Manmohan Singhji became the country's Prime Minister twice following Lok Sabha polls conducted by EVMs, there was no issue with EVMs when Mayawati, Akhilesh Yadav and Mamata Banerjee took over as Chief Ministers in Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal following EVM-conducted polls," Prasad said.
He said no questions were raised on EVMs when Congress emerged victorious in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh in the recently-concluded Assembly polls which were also conducted by EVMs
"I am not able to understand why the credibility of EVMs are being put into questions when the countrymen delivered their mandate in favour of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2019 general elections which were also conducted by the same EVMs," he said.
Prasad, the Union Law Minister, said several hight courts have held that EVMs are safe and secure.
"Election officials are conducting polls and doing their duties in very troublesome conditions and it was visible when they reached a polling booth in Arunachal Pradesh after climbing hills for two days and this is for a single voter so that he could exercise his franchise," he said adding that the house needs to appreciate and celebrate the hard work of election officers.
Prasad said that the poor people of the country made Modi country's Prime Minister again as his policies were pro-poor.
He said people voted for the leader who was capable of keeping country safe and rejected those who were talking to abolish sedition law.
"In the past whoever have opposed the EVMs, they have lost. Be it in North or South India," he said.
Speaking on "One Nation, One Poll', Prasad urged the opposition parties to debate on the issue with an open mind. sheer expenditure would be saved.
"We are not a closed mind. Discuss the issue with an open mind to find a way out. Maybe we can come to proper conclusion," he said.
"There is a need for one electoral roll. The election is the festival of democracy and therefore we should ensure that the character of the festival should not be lost," he added.
Prasad refuted the allegations of misuse of data for the election campaign, saying the centre would introduce the Data Protection Bill.
"We will never allow the misuse of Indian data by foreign powers or foreign companies," he said.
Participating in the debate, BJP's Bhupender Yadav supported the idea of "One Nation, One Election saying that if the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies elections are held together then it will ensure stability and development of the country.
"Due to continuous elections in different parts of the country, the development works get hampered and large administrative machinery and expenditure are involved in this mammoth exercise," he said.
Another party member Vinay Sahasrabuddhe said the idea behind simultaneous elections is to save the country's resources, time and expenditure. (ANI)