Activists demand reversal of EC order on VVPAT

Source: PTI | Published on 21st May 2019, 11:43 PM | National News | Don't Miss |

New Delhi: A group of activists on Tuesday demanded the reversal of an Election Commission order about tallying the VVPAT slips after the counting of the EVMs.

In a letter to Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora, the civil society members stated that the counting of the electronic voting machines should commence only when the tallying of the verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) slips for the five sampled booths in each constituency are completed.

The activists, including Aruna Roy, also demanded that if there is a mismatch in a seat, all VVPAT slips in that constituency must be counted before declaring the result.

The 24 groups, who have come under the banner of the People's Agenda, wrote the letter to Arora and the two election commissioners.

The People's Agenda reminded the commission about the detailed memorandum shared in their meeting with the deputy election commissioner on May 7, outlining the key issues of concern that included a demand for 100 per cent counting of VVPAT slips.

They emphasised that the EC seemed to be unwilling to meaningfully engage with non-party groups who are working on the ground to ensure the credibility and transparency of the electoral process. 

No appointment had been given to meet the election commissioners despite a series of mails and phone calls, they alleged.

The activists expressed angst at the EC's perceived unwillingness to respond to several letters positively and promptly, even on issues that have grave implications.

The activists also shared with the commissioner a public statement issued by 48 eminent citizens, including senior advocates Fali S Nariman and Soli Sorabjee, Justice A P Shah, admiral (retired) L Ramdas and historian Ramachandra Guha, demanding 100 per cent counting of VVPAT slips.

They referred to the public consultation last Saturday where, two retired chief election commissioners, a retired Supreme Court judge, a chief minister, some retired members of the bureaucracy and several activists and lawyers had voiced their concerns about the above.

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