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Alleging EVM Tampering, Congress, AAP Demand Return of Ballot Paper

Congress and Aam Aadmi Party-led delegations on Saturday reached the office of Election Commission alleging that during the testing of VVPAT machines in Madhya Pradesh for the by-polls, it dispensed only the BJP slips, no matter what button you pressed.

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Updated:April 1, 2017, 6:28 PM IST
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Alleging EVM Tampering, Congress, AAP Demand Return of Ballot Paper
Congress-led delegation addressed media outside EC office on Saturday. (CNN-News18 Photo)

New Delhi: Congress and Aam Aadmi Party-led delegations on Saturday approached the Election Commission of India (EC) alleging that during the testing of VVPAT machines in Madhya Pradesh for the by-polls, it dispensed only the BJP slips, no matter what button you pressed. Congress leaders also alleged that even the EC officers were not neutral.

An Assembly by-poll is due in Bhind next week, and the demonstration was part of the familiarisation exercise.

"This is a glaring example of misutilisation of EVMs in the country. From the very beginning, doubts were raised over the impartiality of the EVMs," a senior Congress leader said.

Addressing the media outside EC's office, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh said that he "didn't trust the EVMs since the very beginning".

Following Congress, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal also raised questions over the same issue with EC. "When the chief election officer demonstrated the machine, the slips coming out of the machine only had BJP's name on them."

"This is shocking, and it raises a question. Button was pressed on Congress name, but the slip which came out had BJP's name," he said, adding the EC's claim that the machines cannot be tampered with is wrong."

Raising doubts over free and fair elections, Kejriwal said, "Are people voting or are machines casting votes? There should be a proper checking, and the recent incidents have made it clear that whoever casts vote, the vote gets registered for BJP."

Demanding the return of ballot paper voting in the coming elections in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat, he said: "The whole world is using the ballot paper, why aren't we doing it? If hackers can hack into Reserve Bank of Bangladesh account, EVM is nothing."

"In this regard, I had talked to LK Advani, BSP chief Mayawati, and AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal. We want ballot papers in place of EVMs," Singh added.

Lashing out at Congress and AAP, Senior BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi said that Congress and AAP were just staging a drama. "These allegations of EVM tampering is just a drama. They are doing it to keep their cadres happy," she said.

Speaking on the EVM controversy, Congress leader Jyotiraditya Madhavrao Scindia said, "We have complained to the EC, district collectors and election representatives regarding EVM tampering."

"The EC has assured us that they will consider our complain and take the necessary action. We have full faith in the EC that the government body will hold free and fair election in the country," he added.

Immediately after the poll debacle in Uttar Pradesh, Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati had alleged that the EVMs, used in the electoral process, were tampered with.

Echoing her sentiment, former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav had also asked the Election Commission to take notice of the charges levelled by Mayawati. "If Mayawati is saying something, we should perhaps look into the matter," Akhilesh had said.

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