The opposition leaders of 22 parties on Tuesday met the Election Commission and sought 100 percent matching of the votes cast on EVMs with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail slips (VVPAT) before the first round of counting. The EC reportedly said the matter will be taken up for deliberations tomorrow again.

In the meeting that lasted an hour, the opposition leaders requested the EC for verifying the VVPATs in five randomly selected polling booths in each of the assembly constituencies and demanded 100 percent VVPAT match in the event of any sort of discrepancies.

Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said “We raised these same issues in last one-and-a-half months. We asked Election Commission why have they not responded. Strangely, EC heard us for almost an hour and assured us they will meet us again tomorrow.”

Senior Congress leader Gulam Nabi Azad confirmed “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.”

Telugu Desam Party Chief Chandrababu Naidu also joined the opposition demanding VVPAT verification. He said “We are asking Election Commission to respect the mandate of people.”

Earlier in the day, Supreme Court dismissed a PIL filed by a civil society organzation ‘Tech 4 all’ seeking 100 percent matching of EVMs and VVPATs across constituencies. The vacation bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra and MR Shah refused the urgent hearing of the plea and said the matter is already dealt with by the CJI and cannot be overridden by them.

21 opposition leaders earlier moved the Supreme Court where the bench led by CJI dismissed the review petition seeking for random matching of VVPATs to be increased to 50 percent.

AAP’s Arvind Kejriwal, DMK’s Kanimozhi, CPI’s D Raja, Congress’ Ahmed Patel and Gulam Nabi Azad, Derek O’Brien of the TMC, SItaram Yechury of CPI (M) were among those attended the meet.

 

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