Ex-Andhra CM Jagan Reddy says ‘spirit of democracy’ needs ballot papers, not EVMs | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Ex-Andhra CM Jagan Reddy says ‘spirit of democracy’ needs ballot papers, not EVMs

Jun 18, 2024 12:39 PM IST

The former CM questioned the EVMs and asked for a return to ballot papers as they are used by democracies all around the world without an issue

YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, said that it was necessary for "upholding the true spirit of our democracy," that ballot papers be used instead place of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), on Tuesday.

YSRCP leader YS Jagan Mohan Reddy (ANI)(HT_PRINT)
YSRCP leader YS Jagan Mohan Reddy (ANI)(HT_PRINT)

In a post on X, he stated, "Just as justice should not only be served but should also appear to have been served, so should democracy not only prevail but must appear to be prevalent undoubtedly. In electoral practices across the world, in almost every advanced democracy, paper ballots are used, not EVMs. We too must move towards the same in upholding the true spirit of our democracy."

Read more: Explainer: The Mumbai North West ‘EVM unlocking’ saga

He is not the only one flagging issues with the machine. Opposition leaders across the board have questioned the process and whether it is as safe and efficient as ballot papers.

CPI General Secretary D Raja said that the credibility of EVMs had become an issue and was being questioned by people.

On Monday, Maharashtra Congress President Nana Patole on Monday had also spoken up on the matter, emphasising that the Congress party had been constantly asking for ballot papers to replace EVMs, but the Centre had not taken any steps towards this proposal.

Read more: EVM ‘hacking’ row: Who is Ravindra Waikar, Shiv Sena MP from Mumbai North West?

"Voting is our fundamental right. There is a question in front of people if their vote gets delivered in favour of the candidate whom they cast their vote for. Why doesn't the central government use ballot paper for voting?" Patole pointed out, according to news agency ANI.

"The developed countries including the US and Japan have been practicing voting on a ballot paper. Then why not in India? Congress has been asking the same question repeatedly," Patole added.

Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Priyanka Chaturvedi also spoke on the issue on Monday, stating that it was the Election Commission's responsibility to clarify matters for voters. She added that “constitutional methods" of the country should remain unaffected and the election process should be “free and fair.”

Read more: Oppn takes a swipe at Centre after Musk questions EVM reliability, BJP hits back

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had described EVMs as a "black box" earlier and said serious concerns have been raised about transparency in the country's electoral process.

"EVMs in India are a "black box," and nobody is allowed to scrutinise them. Serious concerns are being raised about transparency in our electoral process. Democracy ends up becoming a sham and prone to fraud when institutions lack accountability," he said in a post on 'X'.

The debate around EVMs was ignited by a report by a Mumbai-based newspaper that Shiv Sena leader Ravindra Waikar's relative was carrying a mobile phone inside a counting centre in Goregaon that was allegedly used for generating an OTP that unlocked the EVM.

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