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Kejriwal urges Delhi SEC to postpone municipal polls by 1-2 months

IANS | New Delhi |

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday urged the State Election Commission (SEC) to postpone the municipal polls by one or two months until the VVPAT equipped machines are arranged.

Kejriwal, along with several other leaders of his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), met Delhi State Election Commissioner S. K. Srivastava and demanded not to use Generation 1 Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) manufactured before 2006 to conduct the municipal polls.

He alleged that the EVMs manufactured before 2006 were "junked" and had very "loose" security features which can even be "hacked by a child".

Kejriwal, after the meeting, told reporters that the SEC assured that he would write to the Chief Election Commissioner over the matter.

"But only one week is left for the municipal polls and there is no possibility of arrangement of VVPAT (Voter-Varifiable Paper Audit Trail) machines within this time. So I urged him (SEC) to postpone the polls by a month or two till VVPAT equipped machines are arranged or the Gen 1 machines are replaced," he said.

"He (SEC) said there is no such provision to postpone the election, then we told him that under Delhi Municipal Corporation (DMC) Act, the central government can extend municipal corporation's term by one year.

"I asked the SEC to write to the central government to extend MCD's session by one to two months," Kejriwal said.

He reiterated his demand that municipal polls must be conducted with EVMs with the VVPAT machines and if not, with paper ballots even if that means the election has to be delayed by a few days.

The delegation led by Kejriwal which met SEC included senior AAP leaders Sanjay Singh, Ashutosh, Ashish Khetan, Dilip Pandey, Atishi Marlena, Raghav Chadha and MLA Somnath Bharti.

Kejriwal also said that Uttar Pradesh State Election Commission had also written to the Election Commission that it did not wish to conduct local body elections using Generation 1 EVM machines because they were unreliable.

"The CEC has also admitted that Generation 1 machines are unreliable. In this context, why is the Delhi SEC insisting on conducting the MCD elections using Generation 1 EVMs?" the AAP leader asked.