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No change in counting process, Opposition demand on VVPAT rejected

The verification of results, on Supreme Court's order, will be matched with the VVPAT slips of five randomly-selected EVMs per assembly segment. 

No change in counting process, Opposition demand on VVPAT rejected

The Election Commission on Wednesday rejected Opposition demand to tally the Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slips before the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) on counting day - May 23. 

The verification of results, on Supreme Court's order, will be matched with the VVPAT slips of five randomly-selected EVMs per assembly segment. 

On Tuesday, 22 Opposition parties Tuesday demanded that VVPAT slips should be counted first, and if any discrepancy occurs, then VVPAT slips should be tallied for the entire assembly segments. However, the EC today rejected the memorandum submitted by the Opposition parties. 

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"We told the EC that the VVPAT machines should be counted first and if there is any discrepancy, then all of them in that segment should be counted. During elections, there were many EVMs which malfunctioned and in many cases, when votes for one political party were cast, it showed votes for some other party, especially the BJP," Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad told reporters here after meeting EC officials.

"These things we have told the EC. We, in the last three-four years have been complaining about the EVMs in Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and even in states," he added.

Leaders of these opposition parties, who held a meeting here on the issue and then jointly approached the EC, also raised concerns over reports about EVMs being "replaced" at various places. 

The seven-phase Lok Sabha election took place from April 11 to May 19. The counting of votes begins at 8 am on May 23.