Posted on May 22, 2019, 6:19 PM IST
OPPOSITION’S PLEA FOR VVPAT VERIFICATION FALLS FLAT
In an attempt to rattle the vote counting proceedings twenty two political parties had appealed to the election commission to check the paper trails of the VVPAT so that any kind of discrepancy could be curtailed. These political parties had demanded that the cross checking should be done with the paper slips. In case of any reported discrepancy, a hundred percent verification of the paper trials in all the booths of that segment was being demanded.
These parties have been reported to have met the EC approximately 94 times in relation to this matter but the EC had remained non committal towards this issue. During one such meeting a senior opposition leader had quoted that “The usually calm and polite Mr. Naidu told the poll body in no uncertain terms that the parties are not here to waste the EC’s time. Instead it is their mandate to seek clarifications if any doubt arises on the electoral processes.” CPI(M) General secretary Sitaram Yechury had told the” EC that the parties had repeatedly asked the EC to come up with guidelines informing all stakeholders on what it would do in case of a mismatch, but even now, two days before the results are to be declared, the guidelines have not been issued.” Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora has refuted the demand for 100 percent paper trail verification and has cited the Supreme Court’s ruling on this matter by terming this demand as an utter “nuisance” and a “waste of time”.
The EVM VVPAT have also proven to present a bone of contention between all the parties in the fray and at some point in time almost all the parties have challenged the authenticity of the voting system. This time though, the Election Commission has refused to give in to this customary kind of a pressure and has rejected the demand of 22 political parties for changing the manner in which the votes shall be counted on 23rd May.
The procedure that has been ratified for this time involves random selection of five polling booths for each assembly segment and the paper trail verification shall be conducted for the same.