Will launch movement to bring back ballot paper: Mamata

Will launch movement to bring back ballot paper: Mamata

West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC Supremo Mamata Banerjee during interaction with media at the end party poll result review meeting at her Kalighat residence in Kolkata, Saturday, May 25, 2019. (PTI Photo/Swapan Mahapatra)

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, on Monday, said that the Trinamool Congress (TMC) will launch a movement across the state demanding that elections be held with ballot papers and not EVMs.

She also said that the movement titled ‘bring back ballot and democracy’ will first be launched in West Bengal and then will be spread across the country.

She also referred to the incident on July 21, 1993, when she was a youth Congress leader, led a march towards the erstwhile state Secretariat Writers’ Building in central Kolkata demanding the voter ID card be made the sole document required for voting.

Thirteen people died and several were injured when police opened fire. TMC observes July 21 as Martyr’s Day.

“We started to observe July 21 following a movement ‘no id card, no vote’. The movement reached such a level that once the CPI(M) government instructed police to open fire and kill our 13 workers and more than 100 were injured. Keeping this in mind we will launch the ‘bring back ballot and democracy’ movement first in West Bengal and then across the country,” said Banerjee.

She was speaking to reporters at the state secretariat Nabanno after holding a meeting with TMC MLAs.

Banerjee also said that she will urge other opposition parties to raise the same demand of doing away with EVMs and bringing back ballot papers.

The Chief Minister further alleged that no mock polls were conducted on EVMs which were brought in when other EVMs malfunctioned and asked whether there is any evidence that no prior programming was done in those EVMs before they were brought into polling booths.

“Several EVMs malfunctioned during elections and were replaced with new ones. No mock polls were conducted on the new EVMs. Is there any evidence that no programming was done in these EVMs before they were brought,” said Banerjee.

Alleging that lakhs of EVMs went missing during the Lok Sabha elections Banerjee demanded to know what happened to them.

“Several lakh EVMs were missing. What happened to them? Where are those EVMs? Were they changed or altered? We refuse to accept this voting through EVMs as people’s mandate. I think we don’t want EVM machines and ballot should be brought back,” said Banerjee.

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