Opposition to launch people's agitation: Naidu

Opposition to launch people's agitation: Naidu

Chandrababu Naidu. DHNS/FILE

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and Telugu Desam Party chief N Chandrababu Naidu said the Election Commission has to answer voters on the doubts raised against the functioning of EVMs.

He said Opposition parties are going to prepare an action plan to launch a people's agitation against the attitude of Election Commission. Terming it a democratic compulsion, the chief minister wanted to know the objection of the Election Commission to count 50% of VVPAT slips.

Speaking to journalists in Amaravati on Monday after returning from New Delhi, Naidu said when he raised doubts over the functioning of EVMs, some people alleged that he launched the protest fearing defeat.

"There is an undercurrent and the TDP will win 150 seats. People came forward to exercise their franchise to protect the democratic system," Naidu said, brushing aside apprehensions that he might lose the elections.

He said he is going to visit all the states and address meetings over the failure of EVMs and Election commission.

He asked whether the Model Code of Conduct doesn't apply to Narendra Modi. Naidu said he holds no grudge against the Election Commission and is objecting to the way the elections are being conducted.

He said that out of 191 countries, only 18 countries have adopted EVMs for polls. He said EVMs can be manipulated by several means as the technology has not been updated. He said there is no provision for any audit of EVMs either for the software or the hardware.

"25 lakh voters were deleted online from the voter list in Telangana; the state Chief Electoral Officer said sorry after reports of mismatch between votes polled and votes counted in Telangana," Naidu said.

He said the Andhra Pradesh CEO himself has failed to exercise his franchise due to the non-functioning of EVMs. The EC deprived voters of their right to vote due to the deletion of votes in Andhra Pradesh, he said.

The chief minister said the Supreme Court passed a judgment in April 2019 on the counting of VVPAT slips, asking if the number of machines which are subjected to the verification of paper trial can be increased to a reasonable number.

He said that during the recent Lok Sabha polls, VVPAT slips were shown only for 3 seconds instead of 7 seconds, as instructed by the Election commission.