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Tuesday
June 2019
12:13 AM IST
News Headlines
Kerala Congress (M): Jose K Mani elected as Chairman        Cyclone Vayu to recurve towards Gujarat and weaken gradually        Joseph terms Jose K Mani''s election unconstitutional, says ''crowd'' can''t elect chairman        Heatwave claims 61 lives in Bihar        With eyes on 2022, Priyanka to step up UP tours, meet Cong workers twice a week        Hong Kong leader apologises as massive rally chokes city        Gunmen on motorcycles kill 34 villagers in Nigeria: Police        Trump to raise Hong Kong protests with Xi at G20: Pompeo        Protesting doctors turn down Mamata''s invite for talks, say CM has to apologise first        China supports suspension of Hong Kong''s controversial extradition bill after massive protests        Seven sustain burn injuries as bus catches fire in road accident        CM to raise Kerala''s objection in Niti Aayog meet over handing over Intl Airport to Adani group        Finch''s 153 sets up Australia''s 87-run win over Sri Lanka        Coutinho brace fires Brazil to 3-0 win over Bolivia in Copa America opener        India, SCO members unite to condemn terrorism in Bishkek Declaration        Agitating doctors decline Mamata''s invite for talks        Cyclone Vayu to recurve again; likely to hit Kutch next week        UK court sets Feb 2020 timetable for Assange US extradition trial        Trump blames Iran in tanker blasts, says sea lane not at risk        ENG Pacers, Root set up England''s overwhelming eight-wicket win over West Indies        
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Main News
Oppn to move SC again to seek verification of 50 pc of VVAPT votes
 
New Delhi: Persisting with their doubts over the credibility of EVMs, several opposition parties Sunday said they will move the Supreme Court again to seek verification of at least 50 per cent of the polled votes against VVAPT slips. Opposition parties, including the Congress, Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Samajwadi Party, CPI and CPI(M), jointly addressed a press conference to highlight the issue of transparency in the election process and protection of voter rights and gave a call to "save democracy". Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of "programming" the electronic voting machines to win the Lok Sabha polls, while his Andhra Pradesh counterpart Chandrababu Naidu said 21 political parties have demanded matching of the VVPAT slips with at least 50 per cent of the votes cast through the EVMs.

Naidu had met Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora Saturday to raise the issue of alleged malfunctioning of EVMs. The demand by the parties comes days before the 2nd phase of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections on April 18, when the a total of 97 constituencies across 13 states go to polls. The first of the seven-phase polls was held on April 11. The Supreme Court had on Monday asked the Election Commission to increase the random matching of VVPAT slips with votes cast through EVMs at five polling booths per assembly segment, from one at present, in the Lok Sabha polls. It had given the direction saying the measure would provide greater satisfaction not just to political parties but the entire electorate. The opposition parties, including the Congress, have been demanding that at least 50 per cent of all votes polled through EVMs be verified against the paper slips of the the voters'' verifiable paper audit trail (VVPATs) machines.

A VVPAT is an auxiliary, independent device linked to an electronic voting machine to allow voters to see if the votes cast by them have gone to the right candidate. The VVPATs are also meant to help detect any possible "election fraud" or malfunction of EVMs. The Election Commission of India has decided to use VVAPTs with all the EVMs in the ongoing elections to impart greater transparency and credibility to the country''s poll process. The BJP, meanwhile, termed the opposition parties'' meet in Delhi an exercise "to find excuses for their impending massive defeat" in the Lok Sabha polls. In a separate press conference, BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao said, "The so-called all party meeting convened in Delhi is nothing but a confession of defeat by the so-called Mahagathbandhan." "They are already trying to find excuses for their impending massive defeat.

They have not only failed to mount a challenge against the BJP in this election but have also failed as an opposition in the last five years," he added. After the opposition parties'' meet on EVMs, AAP supremo Kejriwal told reporters that the people were losing faith in EVMs and the election procedure. Congress leaders and senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Singhvi also attended the conference. Singhvi said the opposition parties will approach the Supreme Court for a direction to the EC for matching at least 50 per cent of the votes recorded in VVPAT slips with those registered by EVMs in every assembly segment. Sibal said, “If the EC ignores this issue, we will take other measures. We will not sit quietly.

We will approach the Supreme Court." Singhvi said the opposition parties would launch a nationwide campaign on the issue of "discrepancies" in EVMs and alleged the EC was not doing enough to address it. "Questions were raised after the first phase of elections, we don''t think the EC is paying adequate attention. If you press the button before X party, vote goes to Y party. VVPAT displays (paper slips) only for 3 seconds, instead of 7 seconds," he claimed. "Why the EC does not want 50 per cent VVPAT slips to be counted. Today, 20 to 25 per cent EVMs are not working properly. People vote till 4 am and wait in queues. What does this mean?” asked Sibal, doubting the EC''s intentions. It will be unfortunate if the EC supports voting machines instead of the voters, he added. Accusing the BJP of "programming the EVMs" to win the poll, Kejriwal claimed, "People don''t believe in EVMs anymore."

He said all opposition parties, except the BJP which is "benefitting out of this manipulation of machines", want the counting of at least 50 per cent of the VVPAT slips. “The loss of faith in the electoral procedure is raising a question mark on the country''s democratic structure," he said. He also accused the poll panel of ignoring the complaints of manipulations of EVMs. "Why is the EC not listening or acting on the complaints? There is a serious manipulation of EVMs. Why is the EC ignoring this?" he asked. Claiming that all votes goes to the BJP irrespective of the buttons pressed on EVMs, Kejriwal asked why this discrepancy was not being investigated by the EC. Asserting that the EVMs are not reliable, the opposition parties'' key interlocutor Naidu said they are not satisfied with the Supreme Court order to the EC to increase the number of EVM''s to be randomly verified from one to only five per assembly constituency.

He said a fresh petition will be filed in the matter.


Kerala Congress (M): Jose K Mani elected as Chairman
CM to raise Kerala''s objection in Niti Aayog meet over handing over Intl Airport to Adani group
India, SCO members unite to condemn terrorism in Bishkek Declaration
Shah says BJP yet to reach its peak, eyes power in Kerala, Bengal
Cyclone Vayu turns "very severe", advances towards Gujarat
Wreckage of AN 32 aircraft found in Arunachal
6 convicted in gang rape, murder of 8-yr-old girl in Kathua; 1 acquitted
Integration of Brahmos missiles into Sukhoi jets fast-tracked
12 Indians among 17 killed in tragic bus accident in Dubai
Nipah Virus: Six patients tested negative: Shailaja
Nipah: Another 311 people under observation, condition of student improves
IAF aircraft with 13 people on board goes missing
AAP govt planning for free ride in metro, DTC buses for women
Sonia Gandhi elected leader of Congress Parliamentary Party
Amit Shah takes charge as Union Home Minister
Amit Shah gets Home, Rajnath to be new Defence Minister, Jaishankar to be EAM
Modi takes oath as PM for second term
Decided not to attend swearing-in ceremony due to false reports of killing of 54 BJP workers: Mamata
Cong crisis: Gehlot, Pilot and Priyanka meet Rahul
DMK chief Stalin urges Rahul not to quit
KERALA NEWS
Joseph terms Jose K Mani''s election unconstitutional, says ''crowd'' can''t elect chairman
 Kottayam: Terming the election of Jose K Mani as party Chairman is unconstitutional, Kerala Congress  
Seven sustain burn injuries as bus catches fire in road accident
Rahul renews attack on BJP, Modi during ''thanksgiving'' visit to Wayanad
It's Confirmed: 23-year-old boy infected with Nipah
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Hong Kong leader apologises as massive rally chokes city
 Hong Kong: Hundreds of thousands of protesters choked Hong Kong''s streets for a second straight Sun
Gunmen on motorcycles kill 34 villagers in Nigeria: Police
Trump to raise Hong Kong protests with Xi at G20: Pompeo
China supports suspension of Hong Kong''s controversial extradition bill after massive protests
NATIONAL NEWS
Cyclone Vayu to recurve towards Gujarat and weaken gradually
 Gandhinagar: The Severe Cyclonic Storm VAYU which was going away from Gujarat coast would take a rec
Heatwave claims 61 lives in Bihar
With eyes on 2022, Priyanka to step up UP tours, meet Cong workers twice a week
Protesting doctors turn down Mamata''s invite for talks, say CM has to apologise first
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