Welcoming the resolution of Indian National Congress in which they demanded discontinuation of electronic voting machines (EVMs) in elections, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Saturday urged the Election Commission of India (ECI) to convene an all-party meeting on the issue.
Issuing a statement, AAP chief spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj said though the Congress, which is the oldest political party in the country, has woken up more than a year after the AAP had first exposed the dangers posed by the EVMs to the parliamentary democracy of India, it is still a matter of satisfaction that more and more parties are coming forward to safeguard democracy.
Bharadwaj said AAP demands that the ECI should immediately convene an all-party meeting on the issue of discontinuing EVMs and conduct the coming general elections through ballot papers.
He said AAP would write to the EC demanding an all-party meeting to ascertain the views of parties on how the next year’s general elections and all subsequent elections should be conducted.
He added that AAP would also appeal to all other parties which believe in safeguarding democracy to make a similar demand before the EC.
The Congress at its 84th plenary session on Saturday passed a resolution seeking ballot papers in place of EVMs. The political resolution called for reverting to the old practice of paper ballot as adopted by other major democracies to help restore the credibility of the electoral process.
Bharadwaj said the most important stakeholders in elections are political parties and the EC cannot disregard their opinion on how the elections should be conducted.
“When majority of political parties do not want elections through EVMs, how can the EC continue with these machines,” Bharadwaj questioned.
Bharadwaj said the conduct of EC so far on the issue of EVMs has not been fair and it has chosen to impose the EVMs despite ample proof about these machines are not tamper proof and election results can be manipulated.
“The bogus argument of use of technology for fast election results,” he said, “cannot be used as a ploy to bring the parliamentary democracy under threat of rigged elections, particularly when the EC is not ready to allow its EVMs to be scrutinized for impartiality.”
Bharadwaj said the EC is playing with its credibility and has allowed the Centre’s ruling party to dent the Commission’s impartiality by forcing it to toe the government line so far.