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Opposition cries foul over EVM malfunction; to move Supreme Court again

Joint opposition will approach the top court on the issue again, seeking counter checking of at least 50 per cent of the VVPAT slips to ensure transparency in counting of votes.

Opposition cries foul over EVM malfunction; to move Supreme Court again
Polling officials leaves after collecting EVM and other election material ahead of the third phase of 2019 Lok Sabha elections, at a distribution centre, at Maniram Dewan Trade Centre in Guwahati on Monday. ( ANI Photo)
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Leaders of various opposition parties are likely to move Supreme Court after alleging glitches in Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPATs) during the third phase of Lok Sabha Election on Tuesday.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said the opposition will approach the top court on the issue again to seek counter checking of at least 50 per cent of the VVPAT slips to ensure transparency in counting of votes. He was speaking at a joint media interaction addressed by leaders of the Congress, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Trinamool Congress, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)], Communist Party of India (CPI) and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK).

Alleging that EVMs are vulnerable to "hacking and programming errors", TDP chief Naidu on Tuesday said, “We have serious doubts about EVMs. I am a strong supporter of technology. But today, technology is very vulnerable. Every six months technology is changing. There are also technical problems, vulnerability and also malfunctioning. Only three countries out of the ten most populous countries in the world use EVMs. These countries are also not technologically strong."

He further said that Russian hackers could be involved and urged the Election Commission (EC) to check all polling machines after elections. NCP president Sharad Pawar said while citizens are in a mood to change the Modi-led government, manipulation of EVMs is the "only worrying factor".

"Our only worry is someone misusing this technology to manipulate elections...Our worry is manipulation through these machines," Pawar said.

Senior Congress leader Sushilkumar Shinde, AAP's Sanjay Singh, TMC MP Nadimul Haque, Mahendra Singh of the CPI(M) also spoke at the joint conference.

Samajwadi party chief Akhilesh Yadav also alleged that EVMs in several areas were recording “votes in favour the BJP” amid reports of glitches.

“EVMs across India malfunctioning or voting for the BJP. DMs say poll officials untrained to operate EVMs. 350+ being replaced. This is criminal negligence for a polling exercise that costs 50,000 crs,” the former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh tweeted.

EVM malfunction was reported from polling booths in Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Goa during the third phase of Lok Sabha Election on Tuesday.