Return to ballot papers: Oppn to up the ante

Congress had in a political resolution in its Plenary session this March, demanded that the Election Commission (EC) must revert to paper ballots to ensure the credibility of the election process. Samajwadi Party, BSP and AAP had also raised concerns of suspected manipulation of EVMs. DH file photo

Upping the ante against  Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), close to 20 Opposition parties are planning to approach the Election Commission demanding a return to ballot papers for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Opposition sources claimed ruling BJP ally Shiv Sena is also with them in demanding the use of ballot papers in the upcoming elections. The decision was taken by a sub-group of Opposition parties, which regularly meets in Parliament to coordinate floor strategy.

"We call it a move by like-minded parties. It is not just the Opposition. Shiv Sena is also with us," a senior Opposition leader said. The parties are meeting next week to firm up a strategy to take the issue forward.

Congress, Trinamool Congress, Samajwadi Party, BSP, RJD, TDP, AAP, DMK, Left parties and NCP, among others, are the parties that are planning to approach the EC soon after the Monsoon Session of Parliament ends on August 10.

Congress had in a political resolution in its Plenary session this March, demanded that the Election Commission (EC) must revert to paper ballots to ensure the credibility of the election process. Samajwadi Party, BSP and AAP had also raised concerns of suspected manipulation of EVMs.

Top brass meet

Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee discussed the issue with top political leaders like Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the national capital on Wednesday.

"All Opposition parties should go to EC on this matter together," Banerjee had told Opposition leaders who met her in TMC's Parliamentary Party office in Parliament on Wednesday.

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Return to ballot papers: Oppn to up the ante

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