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Will continue to fight for transparency in election process, says Chandrababu

Will continue to fight for transparency in election process, says Chandrababu

New Delhi: A delegation of 22 opposition parties, led by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, on Tuesday approached the Election Commission requesting for verification of all Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPATs) in an assembly segment if discrepancy is found in counting of VVPAT slips of five random machines.

The delegation met the EC immediately after the Supreme Court dismissed a plea by opposition parties to review its judgment rejecting 50 per cent random physical verification of EVMs using VVPATs.

The delegation also demanded that the EC "suo motu" increase the physical counting of VVPAT slips with Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) vote count in order to restore voters' confidence, credibility, transparency and robustness of institutional mechanism of counting process. The Supreme Court has directed the EC to count VVPAT slips of five random EVMs in each assembly segment.

Senior Congress leaders Ahmed Patel and Abhishek M Singhvi as well as National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah, CPI parliamentarian D Raja and AAP MP Sanjay Singh were among other leaders present in the meeting.

"After the SC dismissed our petition, we came to the EC and requested it clearly that if any discrepancy is found in five VVPATs then what action it should take. Some of the booths are manipulated. Our demand is clear that all VVPATs in the entire assembly segment should be verified," Naidu told reporters after the meeting.

Naidu said the delegation told the EC that it is possible to count 50 per cent of VVPAT slips easily.

"There are 14 tables in every counting hall for an assembly constituency. Therefore the amount of time and energy in which slips from one VVPAT machine can be supervised by returning officer and observer is same for 14 VVPAT machines.

"Therefore slips from at least 70 VVPAT machines can be counted in the same time. If they are counting 5 VVPATs, then they can count 70 VVPATs at a time," he said.

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