Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday wrote to the Election Commission calling for the use of ballot papers instead of Electronic Voting Machines in the upcoming elections to the Capital’s three municipal corporations. The Aam Aadmi Party chief’s letter to the EC chief secretary was sent soon after Congress Delhi President Ajay Maken requested him to have the civic polls conducted using the ballot paper system instead of EVMs.
In his letter to Kejriwal, Maken clarified that his request was without prejudice towards the results of the recent Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, in which the Congress and its ally the Samajwadi Party suffered an embarrassing loss to the Bharatiya Janata Party.
He said that following reports questioning “the efficacy” of EMVs, there were serious doubts about the transparency of the electoral process. Maken called for the upcoming MCD elections to be conducted using the traditional system “to erase any doubts” in the minds of voters. He emphasised that it was Kejriwal’s responsibility as the Delhi chief minister to ensure an “absolute level playing field”.
In response to Kejriwal’s appeal to the Election Commission, BJP leader Manor Tiwari challenged the AAP chief to re-elections to the 67 Assembly seats in Delhi if he “does not have faith in EVMs”.
The debate over the supposed rigging of EVMs began again on Saturday, after Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati alleged that the machines used during the Uttar Pradesh polls had been manipulated. She said this had let voters only choose the BJP, which in turn led to the party winning with a massive majority. The BJP had dismissed the allegations, with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley calling Mayawati a “sore loser”.