Congress leaders
A photo of Congress leaders from the Congress Plenary | Twitter
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The grand old party moves political resolution on use of ballot papers, says idea of simultaneous polls is misplaced and incompatible with the Constitution.

New Delhi: Joining the opposition chorus against use of voting machines, the Congress party Saturday demanded that henceforth all elections should be held through ballot papers, instead of EVMs.

“There are apprehensions among the political parties and the people over the misuse of EVMs to manipulate the outcome contrary to the popular verdict,” the Congress said in a political resolution moved at its plenary session Saturday.

“To ensure the credibility of the electoral process, the Election Commission should revert to the old practice of paper ballot, as most major democracies have done,” the resolution said.

After the Punjab assembly elections last year, the AAP had raised questions on the EVMs. Similar complaints were made by the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) after the UP assembly polls in March last year.

However, on 6 January this year, both the Congress and the BSP had skipped a special meeting of opposition parties on the EVM issue called by SP chief Akhilesh Yadav.

The political resolution of the Congress has also questioned the idea of holding simultaneous polls, often highlighted by Prime Minister Modi and other BJP leaders.

“The BJP’s move for simultaneous elections is misplaced. It is incompatible with the Constitution and is also impractical,” the Congress resolution said.

“It will have serious implications, which must be thoroughly inquired into, and a national consensus built,” it added.

The political resolution also mentioned the Congress strategy of going for pre-poll alliances very clearly. “Congress will adopt a pragmatic approach for co-operation with all like-minded parties and evolve a common workable programme to defeat the BJP-RSS in the 2019 elections,” said the resolution.

This was more on the lines of the 2003 Shimla resolution of Congress where the party had stated that secular forces should come together to defeat the BJP.

The Congress-led UPA had formed government in 2004 based on a common minimum programme with support from the Left parties.

The language of Saturday’s resolution suggests that the party is willing to work out a similar programme before the elections.

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