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UP mayoral polls to be held only through EVMs, says state election official

The polls to the nagar palikas and nagar panchayats will be held through ballot papers.

lucknow Updated: Apr 18, 2017 14:28 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Lucknow, Hindustan Times
EVM,UP mayoral polls,Elections
Electronic Voting Machines.

The state election commission (SEC) has said the upcoming mayoral elections in Uttar Pradesh will be held only through electric voting machines and not ballot papers amid allegations by opposition parties that the EVMs can be tampered with.

The issue of EVMs being possibly manipulated by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was first raised by Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati after her party’s dismal performance in the UP assembly polls, but has since gained traction with 16 other parties including the Trinamool Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) backing that charge.

The Congress too has been demanding to revert to paper ballots, though a few senior leaders have distanced themselves from such claims.

“Following the Election Commission of India’s assurance for making the EVMs available to the commission in sufficient number, it has been decided to hold the civil polls for the post of mayors and corporators through EVMs only,” a SEC spokesperson said.

“However, the polls to the nagar palikas and nagar panchayats will be held through ballot papers like before,” he added.

The civic polls to the post of mayors and corporators were held through EVMs in the state in 2012. But the SEC recently wrote a letter to the national poll panel saying it would like to hold the mayoral polls, scheduled in June, through ballot papers if it was being provided with the pre-2006 EVMs that the ECI was planning to phase out.

The election watchdog told the SEC on Monday that sufficient number of EVMs were available with the Madhya Pradesh state election commission asking it to tie up with them accordingly.

“The SEC had demanded 50,000 ballot units and 25,000 control units and we have already contacted the MP state election commission after the ECI’s letter,” the spokesperson said.

First Published: Apr 18, 2017 12:56 IST