National opposition leaders attack EVM-VVPATs

Mumbai, April 23 (IANS) Leaders of various opposition parties on Tuesday launched a fresh attack on the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs)-VVPATs, claiming they are ridden with glitches and vulnerable to programming error.

Addressing a joint press conference here with other leaders, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu said only 18 out of 191 countries in the world have adopted EVMs for elections, which include three of the 10 most populated nations.

“EVMs can be manipulated, hacked and they even malfunction, besides being susceptible to programming error,” Naidu said, expressing concern.

He demanded to know why the voter slip in the new VVPATs is visible for only three seconds though it should be seven seconds and alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party can get votes only by manipulating EVMs.

Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar said “people are in a mood to change the present government, but the main worry is manipulation through EVMs.”

Discussing the opposition’s demand for counting 50 per cent of VVPAT slips, senior Congress leader Sushilkumar Shinde said it is “not an unreasonable demand.”

Accusing the Election Commission of India (ECI) of behaving like a “Dhritarashtra”, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Sanjay Singh alleged that “you press any button in the EVMs but the vote goes to BJP” .

The national opposition parties’ leaders held a joint media briefing here even as polling for the third phase was in progress in Maharashtra and other parts of India.



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