Prakash Ambedkar-led VBA party wants ballot paper back for Maharashtra polls

The VBA has petitioned the Bombay high court, seeking declaration of the recent Lok Sabha polls null and void on the grounds of EVM malfunctioning
VBA president Prakash Ambedkar said it was imperative to switch back to ballot papers to restore the spirit of democracy.(HT File)
VBA president Prakash Ambedkar said it was imperative to switch back to ballot papers to restore the spirit of democracy.(HT File)
Updated on Jul 16, 2019 01:14 AM IST
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Hindustan Times | By

After the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), now the Vanchit Bahujan Aaghadi (VBA) has demanded the switch back to ballot paper from electronic voting machine (EVM) for the ensuing Maharashtra Assembly elections.

The VBA has petitioned the Bombay high court, seeking declaration of the recent Lok Sabha polls null and void on the grounds of EVM malfunctioning.

VBA president Prakash Ambedkar said it was imperative to switch back to ballot papers to restore the spirit of democracy. “The Election Commission (EC) should once again go back to conducting elections through the ballot papers, as it will infuse trust among voters who are suspicious of EVMs,” said Ambedkar.

He said it was aptly seen that there were differences between the votes polled and the end result.

“The rules state that in such cases, the returning officer should not have declared the results, but referred the case to the EC. It was up to the EC to study the results and then give the verdict to the returning officer. But this was not done,” said Ambedkar.

He, however, expressed disappointment that the main opposition party, the Congress was not pursuing this case. “I still don’t understand why the Congress is afraid to take up this issue when there is evidence of EVM malfunctioning. This has forced VBA to take help of civil society to pursue this issue,” said Ambedkar.

Last Monday, MNS chief Raj Thackeray paid a visit to the Election Commissioner at Delhi and made a similar demand. Thackeray said, “Before 2014, even the BJP was against the EVM, but now they are quiet. As a majority of political parties are against EVMs, it makes sense to dump it and restore the old system.”

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Naresh is a Special Correspondent with Hindustan Times, Mumbai, since 2005. He covers the real estate sector, in addition to doing political reportage.

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