Sixteen Opposition parties on Monday approached the Election Commission expressing no confidence in Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs)and demanded elections through paper ballots. The concerted action follows a series of meetings between Opposition leaders, a few initiated by Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, to forge a rainbow coalition against the BJP that has shown aggression in expanding its horizons after the electoral successes in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Senior Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma and Ahmed Patel held a strategy meeting on Monday morning that was attended by leaders of eight parties – the NCP, JD(U), CPI, CPM, SP, BSP, Trinamool Congress and the RJD. Azad and Patel also met Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to seek her support for the joint action against the use of EVMs.
“We have lost confidence and trust in EVMs after the Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand elections, and the recent by-polls. Hence we asked the Election Commission to revert to the paper ballot system,” Azad told reporters after leaders of 13 political parties met Chief Election Commissioner S N Zaidi.
NCP leader Majeed Memon said the commission assured them that it would convene an all-party meeting on the efficacy of the EVMs. BSP leader Satish Mishra said leaders of 16 parties have signed the petition and leaders of 13 parties approached the EC on Monday. In the memorandum submitted to the EC, the leaders said the trust deficit amongst political parties in the electronic devices was too deep-seated and pervasive.
Full Article: 16 political parties urge Election Commission to junk EVMs.