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Election Commission has problem with our demand for EVM-VVPAT tallying: N Chandrababu Naidu

File photo of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu. Photograph:( ANI )

ANI New Delhi, Delhi, India May 21, 2019, 06.49 PM (IST)

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has a problem with our demand of tallying votes registered in electronic voting machines (EVMs) with that of voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) slips, said TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday.

Naidu, who was talking to media persons after a delegation of 22 opposition parties met the EC here over EVM-VVPAT tallying issue, said, "We have a very genuine demand. We have repeatedly made representation to the EC and have even gone to the SC. We want that tallying of five EVM-VVPAT machines should be made at the beginning of the counting, but the EC has a problem."

"If any discrepancy is found in the tally, then VVPAT for the whole assembly segment should be counted. We do not know what is the problem of the Election Commission? Former Chief Election Commissioner has also endorsed our demand. Former President (Pranab Mukherjee) also made it very clear that EC should keep transparency and create confidence among Indian voters," he said.

"We are asking to respect the mandate. People's mandate cannot be manipulated. The EC is saying one blood sample is enough but if that sample is showing total pollution in the body, then you have to scan the whole body," said Naidu.

Prominent opposition leaders who were also present on the occasion included Ghulam Nabi Azad and Abhishek Manu Singhvi of Congress, Satish Chandra Misra of BSP, Prof Ramgopal Yadav of the Samajwadi Party, Prof Manoj Jha of RJD, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, and Sitaram Yechury of the CPM.

Naidu said that the opposition leaders have also demanded that if any discrepancy is found anywhere during EVM-VVPAT verification, then 100 per cent counting of paper slips of VVPATs of all polling stations of that assembly segment should be done.

Singhvi, speaking on the occasion, said, "If the subset is found poisonous, then the whole sample is discarded."

In the recent past, Naidu had met various leaders including Congress president Rahul Gandhi, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, and Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar.

On May 18, Naidu had urged the Election Commission to count votes through VVPAT instead of EVMs during the counting of votes polled in the Lok Sabha elections.

The counting of votes will take place on May 23. On May 7, the Supreme Court had turned down a review plea filed by 21 opposition parties seeking a direction to the EC to increase random physical verification of VVPAT from five to at least 50 per cent of EVMs. 

Story highlights

Naidu was talking to media persons after a delegation of 22 opposition parties met the Election Commission over EVM-VVPAT tallying issue.