Highlights from today’s political developments.
EC wants to set new precedent of ‘dark secrets’, ‘secluded chambers’: Congress
A day before the counting of the votes polled in the Lok Sabha election, the Congress on Wednesday termed as “constitutional travesty” the EC’s rejection of Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa’s demand that dissent notes should be recorded and alleged that the poll watchdog wanted to set a new precedent of “dark secrets” and “secluded chambers” in performing its duties.
“A Constitutional travesty! ECI wants to set a new precedent of ‘dark secrets’ & ‘secluded chambers’ in doing its constitutional duties.
“If CEC can’t play fair in its functioning, can it play fair in ensuring a free & fair election?,” Congress’s chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala wrote on Twitter.
His comments came a day after the Election Commission (EC) decided not to record the dissents put forward by the members of the “full commission”, overruling Lavasa.
On Tuesday, the poll panel rejected with a majority vote Lavasa’s demand that dissent notes should be recorded in its orders on model code violations, days after the simmering tension within the EC over the issue came out in the open.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP leader Chandrababu Naidu on May 21 met former prime minister and JDS supremo H D Deve Gowda as part of his efforts to mobilise opposition parties on the controversy over alleged manipulation of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).
Confabulating with Gowda for over an hour here late Tuesday night after a meeting of opposition parties in New Delhi on the EVM issue earlier in the day, Naidu said 23 parties were raising the issue and demanding transparency and accountability. “Earlier, even the BJP had opposed EVMs,” he said. “In Uttar Pradesh, we are seeing EVMs in hotels and homes… strong rooms are being changed,” Naidu alleged. – PTI
Tally EVM-VVPAT slips before final counting, Opposition tells EC
Twenty-two Opposition parties met the Election Commission (EC) on Tuesday demanding that tallying of the Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slips in five polling booths in each Assembly segment with the electronic voting machines (EVMs) be done prior to the counting of votes.
If any discrepancy is found anywhere in the VVPAT verification, hundred per cent counting of paper slips of VVPATs of all polling stations of that Assembly segment should be done, the parties demanded. The EC, however, remained non-committal and told them that there would be a special meeting of the full Commission on Wednesday to examine the issue.
EC to set up control room for EVM complaints
Faced with widespread Opposition allegations of EVM swapping and tampering, the Election Commission on Tuesday announced that an EVM control room (011- 23052123) will be set up at the Nirvachan Sadan for handling any EVM-related complaints till the completion of counting.
The control room will become operative from 11 a.m. on May 22.
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