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VVPAT row: Election Commission should go back to ballot paper, says Congress

LiveMint logoLiveMint 05-04-2017 PTI

Bhopal: The Congress on Wednesday said the Election Commission should stop “experimenting” with democracy and bring back the ballot paper system.

“The electronic voting machine dispensed only lotus (BJP) symbol slips during a public demonstration in Bhind, which was an eye-opener. So the Election Commission should explore the possibility of shifting to alternative system of paper ballot and stop experimenting with the democratic process,” Congress general secretary Mohan Prakash said on Wednesday.

Prakash, who is in charge of party affairs in Madhya Pradesh, said the EC had assured the Supreme Court that it would introduce EVMs equipped with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail devices in a phased manner. “It was going on in a sluggish manner. However, doubts have cropped up in voters’ mind following the demonstration in Bhind. Ballot paper system is a tested one,” he added.

Also Read: EC seeks report on VVPAT dispensing BJP slips in Bhind

He also alleged that the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh posted only certain officers for election duty. “Why the government appoints certain officials in every by-poll? The lower-rank employees are being threatened by the government. Even the officials who were transferred upon EC’s directive are still working in Bhind,” he said.

Congress would take the issue of EVMs to the people, he said.

A trial of EVM ahead of Ater Assembly by-election in Bhind district led to a controversy when some reports said that VVPAT machine dispensed only BJP slips no matter which button on the EVM was pressed. However the Chief Electoral Officer of the state denied this.

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