Millennium Post

Our confidence in the Election Commission has been badly shaken, says Kapil Sibal

New Delhi: Leaders of 21 opposition parties have recently petitioned both the Election Commission and the Supreme Court to demand a review of VVPAT (Voter-Verification Paper Audit Trail) slips for a free and fair elections after several EVMs glitches were reported in the last four phases of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections from many parts of the country. Over the past few years, the opposition parties have voiced their misgivings on this issue both inside and outside Parliament.

Congress stalwart and senior Supreme Court lawyer Kapil Sibal- who is representing the 21 opposition parties in the apex court said in an exclusive interview to the Millennium Post that the malfunctioning of electronic voting machines had dented confidence of political stakeholders and further claimed that the 'Election Commission had gone soft on some people.'

He said that the whole scheduling of the ongoing general election was questionable. " You have one day for Gujarat, one day for Tamil Nadu, two days for Tripura, any number of days for Bihar and West Bengal. It simply defies logic."

Questioning the logic of spending thousands of crores on VVPAT machines where the EC was somewhat reluctant on their extensive use, he demanded the counting of VVPAT slips at least 50 per cent booths in every Assembly constituency.

"I assume that everything is fine. Since you have invested thousands of crores, what is the harm in counting? At least the entire nation would know that the EVMs have not been tampered with and the result is free and fair. The Election Commission's explanation that it could delay results by four to five days- the explanation is illogical. If that doesn't happen then there will be a lurking suspicion whether the process was free and fair," Sibal said. "I am afraid of that the confidence we had in the Election Commission, has diminished," he added.

Launching a scathing attack on the autonomous constitutional authority, the former law minister said, "I think the Election Commission is dithering in acting against both the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. The kind of political discourse has been used; any other Election Commission would have ensured that they were reprimanded."

"We are deeply disturbed at the way the Election Commission is functioning. It seems that it has gone soft on some people. This has some impact on our confidence in an election that is fair," Sibal said.

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