Anti-BJP front leaders meet in Delhi over counting process

Anti-BJP front leaders meet in Delhi over counting process
Highlights

Two days ahead of the Lok Sabha election results, leaders of around 20 opposition parties met here on Tuesday amid their concerns over the electronic voting machines (EVM) and use of VVPATs.

New Delhi:Two days ahead of the Lok Sabha election results, leaders of around 20 opposition parties met here on Tuesday amid their concerns over the electronic voting machines (EVM) and use of VVPATs.

Among those who attended the meeting were Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, Telugu Desam Party chief Chandrababu Naidu, Nationalist Congress Party's Praful Patel, DMK's Kanimozhi, Trinamool Congress' Derek O'Brien, Samajwadi Party's Ram Gopal Yadav, Bahujan Samaj Party's Satish Chandra Misra, Rashtriya Janata Dal's Manoj Jha, Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Sitraram Yechury, Communist Party of India leader D. Raja and Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal.

They demanded the EC to issue instructions that the random sample VVPAT slips, five polling booths per constituency be counted first and in case of any discrepancy all the VVPAT slips should be counted. Using the analogy of EC, they said if one blood sample was infected it means entire blood is infected and hence all VPATS should be counted. Secondly, the counting of VVPAT slips should be taken up first and not that of EVMs.

The EC assured them that the Commission will meet tomorrow and take a decision on it. The EC also clarified that it has not issue any instructions that no party agent should be allowed at the Assistant Returning Officers table when VVVPAT slips ware counted. This is false propaganda, the EC told the opposition leaders.

Meanwhile Former President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday expressed concern over reports of alleged tampering of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and said the onus of ensuring institutional integrity lay with the Election Commission of India (ECI).

"They must do so and put all speculations to rest," he said in a statement.

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