Modi, Pranab express concern over EVM ‘controversy’ | The Daily Star
12:26 PM, May 22, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:11 PM, May 22, 2019

Modi, Pranab express concern over EVM ‘controversy’

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed concern over the “needless controversy” created by the opposition over EVMs at a meeting of NDA leaders yesterday evening convened by party president Amit Shah.

However, PM Modi described the Lok Sabha elections as “unique” as he met his Council of Ministers and thanked them for working hard to take the government’s initiatives to the people and fulfilling them.

At the meeting, which was attended by 36 parties, the ruling alliance laid out its agenda for the next five years if it is elected to power again.

The meeting took place just a few hours ahead of the dinner hosted by Shah for leaders of the NDA allies to discuss the prospective poll results and the post-poll scenario.

Earlier on Tuesday, 22 Opposition parties demanded that VVPAT slips at randomly selected five polling booths should be counted first, and if any discrepancy occurs, then VVPAT slips should be tallied for the entire assembly segments.

The Election Commission (EC) said it would discuss the issue on Wednesday.

The meeting just two days ahead of counting of votes and after the exit polls predicted a majority for BJP-led NDA government.

Meanwhile, former President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday expressed his “concern” at reports of alleged tampering of the EVMs saying that the “onus of ensuring institutional integrity lies with the poll body and it must do so and put all speculations to rest”.

Mukherjee said the safety and security of EVMs which is in the custody of the ECI is the responsibility of the Commission.

He further said there can be no room for speculations that challenge the very basis of democracy.

His remarks came amidst reports of alleged transportation of EVMs from strong rooms in Uttar Pradesh.

Protests by opposition leaders erupted as videos of alleged shifting of EVMs emerged.

However, the EC has dismissed the reports as “baseless”.

Copyright: The Statesman/Asia News Network

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