No Changes in Counting Process, EC Rejects Demands Of Opposition
Opposition demanded that EC should ensure transparency in the counting process by verifying EVM results with VVPATs.
The Quint DAILY
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The Election Commission on Wednesday, 22 May, refused to make any changes to the counting process as demanded by the Opposition parties on Tuesday, 21 May, in a meeting with the commission.
On Tuesday, Opposition leaders met the Election Commission (EC) with a demand that it should ensure transparency in the counting process by verifying electronic voting machine (EVM) results with VVPAT slips.
Following unfavourable exit poll predictions, Opposition leaders had held a meeting on 21 May. The leaders did not finalise any concrete strategy, but agreed to remain in constant consultation to chalk out a future course of action, depending on the outcome of the polls.
Those who attended the meeting included senior Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Abhishek Singhvi, Ahmed Patel and Ashok Gehlot; Telugu Desam Party's N Chandrababu Naidu; Samajwadi Party's Ram Gopal Yadav; CPI-M's Sitaram Yechury and T K Rangarajan; AAP chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal; NCP's Praful Patel and Majeed Memon; and DMK's K Kanimozhi.
Trinamool Congress' Derek O'Brien, RJD's Manoj Jha, CPI's S Sudhakar Reddy and D Raja, LJD's Javed Razawa, NC's Devender Rana and JD-S' Kupendra Reddy were also among those present.
After this meeting, they met the EC and submitted a memorandum, demanding the tallying of votes of EVMs with a paper trail of votes (VVPATs) of five randomly identified polling booths in an assembly segment before counting begins on Thursday.
"We told the EC that the VVPAT machines should be counted first and if there is any discrepancy, then all of them in that segment should be counted," Azad told reporters.
The Opposition leaders again held talks after meeting the Commission and reaffirmed they would be in constant touch with each other on counting day and after that too, to discuss possibilities of forming a coalition government, an Opposition leader told PTI.
Meanwhile, continuing his efforts to unite opposition parties against the BJP, Chandrababu Naidu is scheduled to hold discussions with JDS chief H D Deve Gowda and his son and Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy in Bengaluru.
Arvind Kejriwal has also talked to Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav by phone to discuss the strategy to be followed after the announcement of the Lok Sabha poll results.
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