Amidst a raging debate over the questionable conduct of the Election Commission, former President Pranab Mukherjee has issued a statement expressing his concern over the reliability of EVMs.
Mukherjee took to social media to share his detailed statement, He wrote, “I am concerned at reports of alleged tampering of voters’ verdict. The safety and security of EVMs which are in the custody of ECI is the responsibility of the Commission.”
Mukherjee wrote that there could be no ‘room for speculations that challenge the very basis of our democracy.’ “People’s mandate is sacrosanct and has to be above any iota of reasonable doubt,” he wrote.
The former President said that he was a firm believer in constitutional bodies adding that ‘it is my considered opinion that it is the ‘workmen’ who decide how the institutional ‘tools’ perform.’ He concluded, “The onus of ensuring institutional integrity in this case lies with the Election Commission of India (ECI). They must do so and put all speculations to rest.”
— Pranab Mukherjee (@CitiznMukherjee) May 21, 2019
Mukherjee has become the first former Indian President to doubt the authenticity of EVMs. His extraordinary statement comes amidst 20 opposition parties led by the Congress meeting the Election Commission to share their apprehensions over the reliability of EVMs. Speaking to reporters in Delhi after meeting the EC officials, Ghulam Nabi Azad of the Congress said that the delegation of the opposition parties had urged the national poll body to ensure that there was 100 percent matching of VVPAT clips with the votes counted in EVMs in the case of mismatch even at one polling booth.
The anxiety among the opposition parties has heightened since the exit polls predicted an unprecedented landslide for the BJP. The counting will take place on 23 May.