Anti-BJP parties to take electronic voting machines issue to Election Commission
Kolkata : Demanding withdrawal of electronic voting machines (EVM) in the coming general elections, 23 anti- BJP parties on Saturday decided to form a four-member committee to prepare a draft on EVM issues to place before the Election Commission (EC), said West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
"We have agreed to form a four-member committee comprising Satish Mishra, Akhilesh Yadav, Arvind Kejriwal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi to prepare a draft on the EVM issues, which would be brought to the notice of the Election Commission," Banerjee said, adding that they have also decided to write a letter to the Commission.
Banerjee was speaking after a tea party she hosted for the leaders of 23 opposition parties who had come for a mega rally convened by her here.
Post the anti-BJP rally at the iconic Brigade Parade Ground, they also collectively demanded that the EVMs should have a physical verification system.
"We also aim to go back to ballot system. Since there are just two months left we have at least demanded that 100 per cent EVMs should have the system of paper trails," Congress spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi told reporters here.
"This is our collective demand for which we will strive from the coming week. There is no way this demand can be denied as we just want to cross-check and if they are fair they should have no problem," Singhvi said on behalf of all the 23 parties.
Revealing Congress' strategy for the upcoming polls, Singhvi said: "In order to ensure victory against the BJP, our objective would be to select one strong candidate for every seat."
Hailing the unity of opposition, Singhvi said: "This (the Brigade rally) is the beginning and it will gain momentum gradually. All the opposition leaders from different parties coming together is itself a historical event. We will celebrate the victory of 2019 election in this ground," he further added.
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Satish Mishra pointed out there were attempts to "manipulate EVMs".
"We need to be careful about it. All opposition parties will raise the issues before the Election Commission in order to stop manipulation of EVMs in future," he said.
Meanwhile, terming the rally as historic and unprecedented, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu said: "This is going to transform India. The country is in danger, democracy is under threat and we have to protect it. Unite India is the need of the day."
At the joint press conference, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav alleged that the BJP came to power in Uttar Pradesh by spreading hatred and quarrel among people on the basis of religion and caste.
"People have realised this and (this time) they will give their reply," he asserted.