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Telangana BJP calls for conducting GHMC polls in phased manner with EVMs

Electronic Voting Machine
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 Electronic Voting Machine

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‘The integrity of the election process should comply with the safety of life of voters,’ says Premender Reddy, General Secretary of TS BJP

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Hyderabad: The State unit of Bharatiya Janata Party has asked the State Election Commission to hold the ensuing Greater Hyderabad municipal elections in a phased manner with adequate personnel and over weeks through theElectronic Voting Machine (EVM) method.

The saffron party had submitted a letter in response to an SEC letter seeking opinion of political parties on usage of EVM or ballot paper method of voting for the GHMC elections.

State BJP general secretary G Premender Reddy, in his response to the Commission on Tuesday, said Hyderabad, particularly the GHMC area was one of the worst covid-hit areas in the country and majority of people were stepping out of their homes only for carrying out their essential activities. Also, several competent authorities and various medical agencies advised that public interaction, gathering etc must be avoided or be kept to a bare minimum.

Against this backdrop, the saffron party said that it would be convenient for general public to vote through EVMs. The BJP leader said that EVM was faster and ensures minimum contact as against the ballot paper and boxes.

The ballot paper method increases physical interaction at the time of polling and counting, thus, increases the risk of spread of covid among the voters, officials and other polling staff at the counting centres. Further, adopting a process of sanitation after every voter casting their vote in ballot paper method would make voters clogging at the polling booths and centres. The saffron party also expressed fears that ballot paper usage might bring back the past electoral malpractices like rigging, booth capturing, corrupting polling staff etc.

It reminded that EVMs were individual machines, compact in nature and were built with read-only memory with no network connectivity. For these reasons, the Election Commission of India (ECI) had announced that the ensuing Bihar State Assembly elections would be held only through EVM method.

Premender Reddy asked the SEC to replicate the process followed by the ECI to hold GHMC elections. Voters may be provided with sanitisers, gloves for signing on the election register and for pressing the relevant button on the EVM.

A sanitiser shall be placed for voters to use after using the EVMs. He said using EVMs for GHMC elections are appropriate to ensure the sanctity and integrity of the election process and also to ensure the safety against coronavirus.

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