Oppn take EVM woes to EC

Oppn take EVM woes to EC
P. Chidambaram (PTI)
NEW DELHI, APR 27 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 4/27/2019 11:40:06 AM IST

Opposition parties on Saturday approached the Election Commission alleging the display of party name only under the BJP symbol on EVMs during a mock poll in West Bengal’s Barrackpore constituency. However the poll panel has maintained that the same insignia was used for the party in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

A delegation comprising senior Congress leaders Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Ahmed Patel and Trinamool Congress’ Dinesh Trivedi and Derek O’Brien met Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and demanded that either all such EVMs be removed from the remaining phases of elections or the names of other parties be added too. The EVMs display the party symbols, name of the candidates and their photographs.

“On EVMs, the letters ‘BJP’ are visible under the party’s symbol. No other party’s name is there. Either remove all machines which mention the BJP clearly or all other parties’ name should be added in all such machines. Till then the use of these machines has to be stopped,” Singhvi told reporters after meeting the CEC.

Former Railway Minister Trivedi, who is also a sitting MP from Barrackpore, said this was a “clear fraud on the people” and an attempt to “hack EVMs.” He also showed purported photographs of the EVM where the party symbol of lotus included the words BJP.

“Yesterday [Friday] the commissioning of EVMs was going on in my constituency. We saw the name of BJP clearly written under its lotus symbol. My party people pointed this out and we requested the returning officer to stop the commissioning. “We approached the state election body also. But the CEO could not take a decision saying elections are already going on,” he said.

Meanwhile, EC in a letter to the chief electoral officer of West Bengal, said that it received a complaint regarding the use of party’s name in ballot and that the same symbol was used by the BJP in the 2014 elections. “There is nothing to suggest that it reflects the name of the party,” the EC letter said.

EC hesitant to act against PM, says Chidambaram
Election Commission of India (EC) has been soft on monitoring the electoral expenditure limits of campaign rallies addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram asserted on Saturday.
Speaking to reporters in Mumbai before the fourth phase of polling for Lok Sabha, he contended that the EC had failed to fulfil its duties of being bipartisan and was reluctant to take action against Modi for his speeches and expenditure-related violations.
Claiming that the spending on several rallies of the Prime Minister had likely crossed the Rs.10 crore mark, in violation of the regulations, Chidambaram said EC was “simply reluctant and unwilling to take action against the BJP.”
Maharashtra Congress leader Ashok Chavan alleged that the BJP’s Suresh Prabhu, had likely been carrying cash in the guise of a box of mangoes, but no action had been taken. “Prabhu was carrying election inducements instead of mangoes,” said Chavan.
A day after Modi claimed that the Congress would be decimated to below 50 seats, Chidambaram said feedback after the first three phases of voting in 303 constituencies indicated that the party had gained significantly. The voters had rejected the ‘false narrative’ of the BJP, he averred. “He (Modi) dreams even when he is sleeping, and even when he is awake. We cannot stop him from doing so,’’ he said, adding that as a single party Congress was level with the BJP.

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