New Delhi: Barely four weeks before the Lok Sabha polls begin, more than 20 opposition parties have moved the Supreme Court seeking verification of 50 per cent electronic voting machines (EVMs) results against voter verifiable paper audit trails (VVPATs) before the results are declared.
The matter has been listed for Friday before a Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi-led bench.
In their plea, the opposition parties have broadly raised the same VVPAT-related issues that they took up before the Election Commission (EC) in February.
The opposition leaders who have moved the top court include N. Chandrababu Naidu, Sharad Pawar, Akhilesh Yadav, Sharad Yadav, Arvind Kejriwal, Derek O’Brien, M.K. Stalin, Farooq Abdullah.
In its letter to the EC on 4 February, the opposition had urged the poll body that in a constituency where there is a “difference of votes cast in favour of the winning candidate and that cast in favour of second position securing candidate is less than 5 per cent of votes cast”, then “mandatory counting of paper trail from VVPAT should be carried out in each polling station of that constituency”.
In the eventuality of a discrepancy in the votes, then the results from the VVPAT must prevail, said the letter.
The opposition in its letter to the EC had also said that there were reports of a mismatch between votes polled and votes counted (as per the ECI records) in Madhya Pradesh and Telangana in the December 2018 assembly elections.
Since the formation of the Modi government in 2014, the opposition has time and again alleged that the EVMs have been rigged in favour of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The first phase of the seven-phase Lok Sabha election is scheduled for 11 April. The counting of votes is set for 23 May.
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