Chandrababu Naidu reiterates demand for 50 per cent VVPAT check

The Chief Minister gave a presentation on the performance and setbacks of EVMs.

Vijayawada: Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu reiterated his demand that 50 per cent of VVPAT slips should be counted and accused the Election Commission of India (ECI) of indulging in politics.

While asking the EC what was the difficulty in counting 50 per cent VVPAT slips, Mr Naidu also accused it of giving a false affidavit to the Supreme Court that it would take a week’s time to count 50 per cent of the VVPAT slips.

Addressing a press conference on Monday, Mr Naidu further said the EC had to answer the voters on the doubts raised against the functioning of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs). He said that the opposition parties were going to prepare an action plan to launch a peoples’ agitation against the attitude of the EC.

Terming it as a democratic compulsion, the Chief Minister questioned what the EC’s objection was to count 50 per cent of votes of VVPATs. The Chief Minister said when he raised doubts over the functioning of EVMs, some people alleged that he launched the protest fearing defeat. He said that there was an undercurrent and the TD would win 150 seats. He pointed out that even when he won polls in 2014, he raised the EVM issue.

He said that he was going to visit all the states and address meetings over the failure of EVMs and the EC. Stating that he had no grudge against the EC, he said that he was only objecting to the way of conducting elections.

The Chief Minister gave a presentation on the performance and setbacks of EVMs. He said out of 191 countries, only 18 countries had adopted EVMs for polls.
He said EVMs could be manipulated by several means as technology was not updated. He pointed out that there was no provision for audit of EVMs neither in terms of software nor hardware.

He also said that there were reports of mismatch between votes polled and votes counted in Telangana. The CEO himself failed to exercise his vote due to non-functioning of the EVM in AP and he had to visit the polling booth twice to exercise his franchise. The EC deprived voters of their right to vote due to missing votes in AP too, he added.

Mr Naidu said the Supreme Court passed a judgement in 2013 that the paper trail was an indispensable requirement of free and fair elections.

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