Video of voter-Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) is a machine which dispenses a slip with the symbol of the party for which a person has voted for. The slip drops in a box but the voter cannot take it home. It has only been used on trial basis in some places
An assembly bypoll is due in Ater seat of Bhind district on April 9 where VVPAT-enabled machines would be used and a demonstration in front of state Chief Electoral Officer was part of the familiarisation exercise for poll officials.
In a major embarrassment on Saturday over a video of voter-verifiable paper audit trail or VVPAT demonstration by a poll official in Madhya Pradesh where the machine attached to an electronic voting machine allegedly dispensed slips of only the Bharatiya Janata Party.
AAP Chief Kejriwal reaction: Delhi Chief Minister and AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal separately met the CEC urging him to investigate cases of “faulty” EVMs and ascertain if their software can be tweaked “in favour of the BJP”. He also demanded ballot papers be reintroduced in the country. Kejriwal asserted after the meeting that the Election Commission’s claim that EVMs cannot be tampered with is completly “wrong”.
Congress Leader Digvijay Singh Reaction :
Following this video proof a delegation of senior Congress leader comprising Mohan Prakash, Digvijaya Singh and Jyotiraditya Scindia met Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi in New Delhi and demanded scrapping of EVMs forthwith and action against officials involved. Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh said, “The next elections, be it in Gujarat or elsewhere, should be held with ballot papers and the use of EVMs be stopped.”
He also questioned the “compulsion” of “using EVMs whose chip was imported” that is not Make in India.
“When elections all over the world, including in the developed countries, are taking place with ballot paper, why should we have problems in doing so,” Singh said, adding he had doubts on the efficacy of EVMs right from day one. Singh added, “From (LK Advani) Advani to Mayawati to (Arvind) Kejriwal, I stand with them on this.” BJP veteran Advani had raised doubts over EVMs after 2009 polls..
Reaction of Election Commission: “We have sought a detailed report from district election officer and would come up with a response in the evening,” a commission spokesperson said. At a hurriedly called press conference in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer Saleena Singh said her office and the district poll authorities had sent reports on the issue to the Election Commission.
Saleena Singh explained that if the VVPAT slip doesn’t reflect the voter’s choice correctly, one can file a declaration, and the election officer will have to follow a set procedure to verify the claim . If the officer finds the claim to be correct, the voting will be stopped, the CEO said.
Asked about the reports that she threatened to send mediapersons to jail if they continued to say that VVPAT was dispensing only BJP slips, Singh said, “It was in a lighter vein. “Some elements, not media persons, twisted the issue,” she added.
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