While the Robert Mueller's 448-page report on Kremlin's collusion in the 2016 US Presidential election has raised a furore in the global political discourse, now in India too, TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu has alleged Russian interference in the Lok Sabha elections.
In an outlandish claim, the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh has cited Russians behind EVM hacking, as the country slips into the third phase of the Parliamentary elections 2019.
He said, "EVMs can be remotely controlled. There are rumours that people from Russia are active and controlling EVMs."
Prior to Russian slant, the TDP president on April 13 urged the Election Commission to 'revert to ballot papers', raking up the issue of 'unreliability'
23 Opposition parties uniting against the Election Commission forewarned to move the top Court over the use of Electronic Voting Machines citing blemishes in the system.
In the press brief, he said, "There are 21 Political parties supporting this press conference. I am working for the country, save democracy, we are fighting irrespective of our political parties. Even Germany has gone back to the paper ballot. They went back to the paper ballot because they knew they can't trust EVM. We are investing 9000 crores on EVM and now they are saying we will count from only one EVM. Why so much of expense?"
The Election Commission (EC) in Mr told the Supreme Court that the present method of counting the Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slips is the most suitable, days ahead of the Lok Sabha polls 2019. The affidavit was filed by the EC in response to a writ petition, by 21 Opposition leaders, led by Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu who sought that VVPAT slips of at least 50 per cent of voting machines in each assembly constituency be checked randomly in this 2019 polls.
In its affidavit, the Election Commission justified the existing system of random counting of the VVPAT slips from one polling booth per assembly segment. It said that the argument presented by the opposition does not hold any ground or base for altering the existing system at this juncture.
In 2013, the apex court directed the EC to introduce VVPAT in the Lok Sabha elections 2014, to ensure voters' confidence and transparency in the voting system. The system was implemented to tackle the questions that were being raised over the security of Electronic voting machines (EVMs).
VVPAT allows a voter to verify its vote after they have pressed the button on the EVM against their chosen candidate.
(With PTI inputs)