Lok Sabha Election

Opposition parties take EVM woes to Election Commission

Opposition leaders (left to right) Derek O' Brien, Randeep Surjewala, Ahmed Patel, Dinesh Trivedi, Manu Singhvi and others leave after meeting with the Election Commission, in New Delhi on April 27, 2019.   | Photo Credit: PTI

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,” Mr. 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 the 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, the Election Commission, 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.

BJP’s Arjun Singh and Trinamool’s Trivedi are contesting from Barrackpore.

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Printable version | Oct 21, 2020 6:00:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/lok-sabha-2019/opposition-parties-complain-to-ec/article26967889.ece

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