Lok Sabha elections 2019: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has demanded the use of ballot papers instead of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections 2019. It alleged that machines without Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) can be rigged to benefit the Modi-led BJP.
The Election Commission of India (ECI) should give up its insistence on using EVMs because only 22 per cent of the over 16 lakh VVPAT machines ordered by the poll panel have been received so far, senior party leader and MP Sanjay Singh said quoting a news report.
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"If elections are held in say December or January, the Election Commission will not be able to equip all EVMs with VVPATs. In such a scenario, use of EVMs will mean that every vote goes in favour of the BJP," Singh alleged in a press conference here on Wednesday.
There are many political parties including the Congress, CPI(M), SP and BSP, among others, that have opposed the use of EVMs, he said.
"I will write to the leaders of all like-minded parties and meet them for forming an all-party delegation that could meet the Election Commission to press the demand for use of ballot in the 2019 elections," he said.
AAP spokesman Saurabh Bhardwaj alleged the Modi government is "conspiring" to win the elections with deployment of EVMs without VVPAT units.
"It's a very big conspiracy of the Modi government to ensure majority for the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections," he said.
In April last year, the Centre had approved the purchase of 16.15 lakh VVPAT machines which print a slip for every vote cast, ensuring the vote goes to the intended candidate.
Meanwhile, ECI on Wednesday said it has placed an order of 16.15 lakh VVPATs and consistently and periodically reviewing the status of production and supply.
“In order to meet the requirement of VVPATs for 100% saturation of all polling stations for 2019 Lok Sabha polls in 2019, Commission placed an order of 16.15 lakh VVPATs. The Commission has been consistently and periodically reviewing the status of production and supply of VVPATs,” ECI said, reported ANI.
It also assured that VVPATS will be delivered well within the time required.
“All VVPATs shall be delivered well within the time required for making pre-poll preparations for 2019 Lok Sabha elections,” ECI further said.
(With inputs from agencies)