Oppn leaders to be present during SC hearing on VVPAT

Stepping up its campaign, senior Opposition leaders will be present in Supreme Court on Tuesday during the hearing of a plea to reconsider its order of raising VVPAT verification from just one to five EVMs per Assembly segment in a Parliamentary constituency.

Sources said Opposition leaders like Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, CPI(M)'s T K Rangarajan and Nilotpal Basu and CPI's D Raja among others would be present in the court room when the review petition is taken up.

The leaders are likely to meet to take stock of the situation after the Supreme Court proceedings.

Leaders of 21 parties had filed a review plea on the April 8 Supreme Court order and is seeking 50% VVPAT verification of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).

The petition has been signed leaders of 21 Opposition parties, including Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, Sharad Pawar, K C Venugopal, Derek O'Brien, Sharad Yadav, Akhilesh Yadav, Satish Chandra Mishra, M K Stalin, T K Rangarajan, Manoj K Jha, Farooq Abdullah, S S Reddy, Danish Ali, Ajit Singh, Mohd Badruddin Ajmal and Jitin Ram Majhi.

Sources said many of the leaders who have signed the petition are likely to be in the court room when the proceedings take place.

The Supreme Court had on Friday agreed to consider the plea. The EC had opposed the plea, saying it would take six days to complete the counting of votes.

Opposition leaders said in their review petition, "till now, credibility of EVMs was not the main issue. However, due to subsequent developments, it has been seriously called into question. The number of EVMs to be randomly checked against VVPAT deserved to be increase."

The petitioners claimed merely 2% increase brought in by the court was not sufficient and would not make substantial or meaningful change in the situation. 

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