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Electronic voting machines hacking and tampering – All party delegation meets CEC

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New Delhi: After Bhind, reports of tampered EVM in Dholpur of Rajasthan have emerged. As the report became public, a delegation of 12 political parties met the Chief Election Commission. The delegation, that consisted of members from all opposition parties, asked the Commission to replace EVMs with ballot paper since the EVM has shaken the faith of the voters and is no longer a reliable source of exercising their democratic rights.

The issue of tampered EVM from Rajasthan was raised by Aam Aadmi Party. As a response, the Commission has agreed to soon call an all party meeting.

During the meeting, the delegates of various opposition parties also criticized the central government for not issuing funds to add VV PAT in all EVMs. In Dholpur reports of malfunctioning VV PAT has surfaced.

The 12 party delegation consisted of representatives from Congress, BSP, CPI, CPM, NCP, SP and TMC. This meeting with the Chief Election Commissioner Naseem Zeri was held in his office where he was presented with the memorandum. The meeting lasted over an hour and the Chief Commission Commission took note of the complaints. The Commission replied that keeping the sensitivity and urgency of the issue, an all party meeting will soon be called.

Following the meeting, Rajya Sabha members of opposition parties talked to the media. Among those who talked to the media were Ghulam Nabi Azad and Kapil Sibal of Congress, Satish Chand Mishra of BSP, Swagat Rai of Trinamool Congress and Majeed Memon of NCP.

Kapil Sibal said that they are not accusing the Election Commission of anything. The Commission thinks that EVMs cannot be tampered with but even Pentagon is not immune. He added that he has urged that till the time faith has been totally restored towards the EVM, the ballot paper should be used in the meantime.

Satish Chand Mishra said that a total of 17 opposition parties are united in this matter. 14 party representatives joined the meeting. He also added that reports of tampering with EVM have surfaced from Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Assam among other places. He added that in UP EVMs were tampered with as a result the decision was taken to take the matter up with the Election Commision and it was stressed that a fair election is not possible with EVMs now. Ballot paper needs to come back.

NCP leader and renowned lawyer, Majeed Memon, said that after hearing the matter from the delegation, the Commission has assured them that an all party meeting will soon be called. He was backed by Swagat Rai.

The issue of faulty EVMs was first raised by Mayawati’s Samajwadi Party, and this issue was then quickly taken up by Aam Aadmi Party also, followed by the rest of the opposition sitting up to take notice.

(Translated from Inquilab)

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