Several opposition parties and ruling NDA constituent Shiv Sena on Monday pushed for reverting back to ballot paper in place of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and opposed simultaneous elections at a meeting convened by the Election Commission which also saw some parties pitching for state funding of elections. The Shiv Sena differed with its ally BJP to support the polls through ballot paper and the CPI-M too differed from other opposition parties and said it was not for returning to the old system of holding elections. It sought more safeguards in EVMs. Chief Election Commissioner O.P. Rawat said after the meeting that the poll panel will take a call on all the issues raised by parties including on EVMs and ballot paper, integrity of electoral rolls and ceiling on expenditure by political parties.
“We will definitely look into the issues presented by them. There will be a satisfactory solution to them,” Rawat said.
Parties like the Congress, CPI, Trinamool Congress, BSP, DMK and Shiv Sena said that there should be a return to ballot papers while the BJP and BJD said they were satisfied with electronic voting machines (EVMs).
The AAP said either the count to verify electronic voting machine (EVM) results with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) should be increased or there should be a return to ballot paper while the AIADMK said it was fine both with EVMs and ballot paper.
Congress leader Mukul Wasnik said the party supported “the demand of using ballot paper in the election in the present situation.” He said malfunctioning of EVMs was a major issue.