Taasir English News Network | Uploaded on 21-May-2019
NEW DELHI: Representatives of 21 opposition parties, including the Congress, will meet the Election Commission this afternoon to flag their concerns about Electronic Voting Machines and the VVPAT (Voter Verified Paper Trail Machines).
The parties took a call on the move after exit polls on Sunday predicted an easy victory for the BJP and its allies. The outlook for the opposition parties was dismal, with most predictions maintaining the regional parties would do badly. The broad national coalition against the BJP will win no more than 122 seats, indicated an aggregate of 13 exit polls.Most parties have pointed out that the exit polls usually don’t get it right, leaders like Mamata Banerjee had also said such exit polls were cue to “manipulate or replace thousands of EVMS”.
On Monday, Mr Naidu said the Election Commission should establish transparency and accountability, and questioned why it is not conducting 50 per cent counting of the slips from VVPAT (Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail machines).Another key opposition leader, Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, tweeted:
After the 2017 assembly elections during which the BJP came to power in Uttar Pradesh, most opposition parties had complained that the EVMs had been tweaked to favour the BJP. Leaders like Mayawati and Arvind Kejriwal had even called for a return to ballot boxes.But negating the claim, the Election Commission had said parties tended to blame the EVMs whenever they lost an election.
Trinamool, which had refused to attend the opposition strategy session ahead of the announcement of results, on Monday said its senior leader Derek O’Brien will be part of the delegation to the Commission.The party is also expected to attend the opposition meeting, which got postponed till after the results after Mayawati, too, refused to attend.
Mr Naidu, who has been city-hopping since the weekend to meet various leaders, on Monday met Mamata Banerjee at her home in Kolkata. It was his only meeting with an opposition leader since the exit poll results were announced.