'Must use ballots for fair verdict'
Kolkata: The anti-BJP leaders who turned up at the 'United India' rally convened by Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee at Brigade Parade Grounds formed a committee to raise the issue of tampering of electronic voting machines (EVMs) and switching back to ballot paper voting before the Election Commission of India (ECI). The leaders unanimously decided to appeal to the ECI for counting of at least 50 per cent of voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) to ensure 'free and fair' elections. The announcement was made in a joint Press conference at Soujanya in Alipore where Banerjee invited the leaders for tea after the rally.
"The committee — with four members Satish Chandra Mishra of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Akhilesh Yadav of Samajwadi Party, Arvind Kejriwal of Aam Aadmi Party and Abhisekh Manu Singhvi of Congress — will prepare a draft proposal on EVMs and submit a memorandum to the ECI ," said Banerjee.
The issue of manipulation of EVMs was raised at the Brigade rally itself by Jammu and Kashmir National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu.
"The EVM is chor machine and I have a great fear that it can be manipulated. If we lose an election on people's mandate, we would accept it but we will never accept if an election is won by fraudulent means. Its use must be put to an end. It should be dispensed with and we would have to go back to ballot papers."