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Tuesday, Nov 12, 2019

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad attacks Oppn on EVM complaints

Prasad made a renewed pitch for the “one nation, one poll” proposal. He added the Opposition should mull over it with an open mind.

india Updated: Jul 03, 2019 23:15 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad speaks in the Lok Sabha during the Budget Session of Parliament in New Delhi on Wednesday.
Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad speaks in the Lok Sabha during the Budget Session of Parliament in New Delhi on Wednesday.(PTI PHOTO.)
         

Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Wednesday said the opposition parties have double standards regarding electronic voting machines (EVMs) even as their leaders have become Prime Ministers and chief ministers through the same balloting process.

“If people of this country elect [Prime Minister] Narendra Modi, then EVMs are faulty. What is this logic… This hypocrisy impinges on the polity of the country,” Prasad said in his reply to a discussion on election reforms in Rajya Sabha.

Prasad made a renewed pitch for the “one nation, one poll” proposal. He added the Opposition should mull over it with an open mind.

Prasad said the Centre would write to the Election Commission to compile a single voters list for assembly, panchayat, and general elections.

Prasad rejected demands for returning to ballot papers. He added four general elections and 122 assembly polls had been conducted using EVMs over the last two decades.

Prasad said Manmohan Singh became the Prime Minister twice during this period while other opposition leaders like Akhilesh Yadav, Mayawati, and Mamata Banerjee became chief ministers.

Prasad said the government has taken several steps over the last three years to improve electoral funding.

He added corporates have been asked to make donations only through cheques. “We need to further plug the gaps as far as funding is concerned,” he said. Prasad added the government was open to examining new suggestions to improve the funding further.

Congress lawmaker Kapil Sibal accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of incurring huge publicity expenses and misusing social media during the 2019 general elections.

He alleged that the Election Commission did not take any action when its advisory related to the use of defence forces to woo voters was violated.

Sibal said the BJP may have returned to power but constitutional provisions were breached.

Trinamool Congress lawmaker Derek O’Brien said the time had come to draft laws for electoral reforms.