Election watch

EVM debate: There is no question of going back to paper ballots, says Congress leader Veerappa Moily

The former UPA minister said only 'defeatist' people blame EVMs for their electoral loss.

Senior Congress leader Veerappa Moily on Wednesday criticised his party for demanding that the use of Electronic Voting Machines be stopped and asking for ballot papers to be reintroduced in upcoming elections. “We can have a committee to look into the issues of EVMs, but there is no question of going back to manual methods,” he told ANI.

The former Union petroleum minister said EVMs were introduced during his tenure in the United Progressive Alliance. “Among all countries, our electoral system is the best and for that the credit should go to the UPA and the Congress,” Moily added. The minister called for a meeting with the Opposition leaders to discuss the matter on Wednesday.

Moily further criticised the Congress for joining the “chorus started by regional parties” blaming the EVMs for their recent electoral defeats. “EVM is not the reason. Just because you are defeated? Only the defeatist people will blame EVMs, otherwise there is no point,” he told The Times of India. The minister said senior party leaders were not consulted before the Congress joined hands with the Opposition parties in approaching the Election Commission.

Meanwhile, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said all political parties, including the Bharatiya Janata Party, at some point or the other has raised doubts on EVM tampering. “I think the Election Commission should not reject it out of hand but must have the humility to accept the case of the political parties and re-examine its position,” the former finance minister said according to News18.

On Tuesday, as many as 16 Opposition parties, including the Congress, had urged the poll panel to conduct the future elections using the ballot system saying the allegations of EVM tampering had “shattered the faith of the people” in a fair electoral process. “It is incumbent upon the Election Commission to allay those fears and apprehensions,” the memorandum submitted by the parties had said.

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