Opposition parties unite on doing away with EVMs, want 2019 general elections on ballot paper


In a significant development, all opposition parties have reportedly built a consensus and agreed that the 2019 Lok Sabha polls must be conducted on ballot papers.

As many as 17 non-BJP parties have signed the move and they will make a joint representation before the Election Commission next week.

This has come just days after Samajwadi Party’s Akhilesh Yadav formally declared his party’s stand in favour of junking EVM and returning to Ballot papers. Speaking to reporters after the party’s national executive meet, Yadav had said, “The executive is of the view that elections should be held through ballot papers and not through EVMs.”

BJP under Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah have been accused of manipulating the EVMs in their favour.

Last month, opposition parties had discussed the idea of opposing ballot papers for 2019 Lok Sabha polls. After a meeting hosted by Congress and attended by TMC, SP, BSP, DMK, RJD,CPM, CPI and JD(S) among others, the parties had decided to approach the EC requesting the poll body to do away with EVMs.

Last year, the Election Commission, which has always denied the allegations of hacking of EVMs, had organsied a hackathon inviting political parties to demonstrate how the machines could be manipulated. However, the event was marred by boycott by several opposition parties. Aam Aadmi Party in particular had alleged that the EC wanted the political parties to hack the machine without giving them access of the EVMs.