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AIADMK run by PM Modi, says Chandrababu Naidu; seeks DMK support on EVMs

Chandrababu Naidu said even developed countries like Germany, Netherlands, and Ireland have abolished EVMs .

lok sabha elections Updated: Apr 16, 2019 17:29 IST
M Manikandan
M Manikandan
Hindustan Times, Chennai
Lok Sabha elections 2019,General elections 2019,Election news
Telugu Desam Party (TDP) President and Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh N. Chandrababu Naidu talks to media person after filling a review petition over non-functioning of electronic voting machines (EVMs) at Election Commission of India in New Delhi on Saturday. (ANI)

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader N Chandrababu Naidu met Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) senior leaders at Chennai on Tuesday to seek the party’s support for scrapping the electronic voting machines (EVMs) and revert to paper ballots.

Naidu met DMK Organising Secretary and Rajya Sabha MP R S Bharathi and Dhayanidhi Maran at Anna Arivalayam, the DMK headquarters and expressed his dissatisfaction with the EVMs.

“Even developed countries are not using EVMs. Germany, Netherlands, and Ireland have used EVMs and later abolished that method,” he claimed.

Naidu also pointed out that there was no transparency about the firms which are producing the EVMs.

“We don’t know which firms are making the EVMs. The recent incidents from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have increased our doubts on EVMs. In order to increase faith in the system, EC should rollback EVMs and reintroduce paper ballot systems. I came here to get the support of DMK for that,” Naidu said.

He also accused BJP-led NDA government of encouraging a cash-for-vote method.

“When 1000 and 500 rupee denominations were declared invalid, the union government claimed it was to identify black money. But, they have brought 2000 rupees denomination now. They are using that for easy distribution of cash for votes,” Naidu added.

Naidu also slammed the Centre saying that the BJP wants to remote control state governments.

“The government tries to influence all the constitutional institutions. AIADMK is now MODI MK. The AIADMK government is being controlled by the BJP. So, TN people want to make Stalin the CM,” Naidu commented.

DMK President MK Stalin was at his home turf of Thiruvarur for campaigning at Nagapattinam Lok Sabha seat’s CPI candidate M Selvarasu and Thiruvarur assembly by-poll candidate Poondi S Kalaivanan and could not meet Naidu.

“Since we are also the part of 21 opposition parties demanding to verify 50% VVPATs with EVMs in every seat, he has come here to stress the same,” Bharati told reporters after the meeting with Naidu.

Naidu’s main rival, the YSR Congress has accused him of raising a bogey about EVMs and railing against the EC out of frustration because “the TDP was losing”.

On Saturday, Naidu had met Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and demanded that the Election Commission should revert to the system of recording votes through ballot papers and stop the use of electronic voting machines in polls. He said there are doubts regarding reliability of the EVMs.

The EC had earlier brushed aside his objections. In a press conference the night of April 11, the poll watchdog had said the percentage of EVM units replaced was 0.73 %, the percentage of EVM control units replaced was 0.61% and the percentage of VVPATs replaced was 1.70%.

First Published: Apr 16, 2019 17:29 IST