In a blistering attack on the Election Commission and the BJP-led government, TDP Chief and Andhra Pradesh CM, Chandrababu Naidu, in a press conference on Sunday has said that 21 Opposition parties jointly demand that 50% counting of VVPAT in the ongoing Lok Sabha polls should be done.
Reading out the Supreme court judgment on VVPAT, he based his demand saying:
"Supreme court judgment on VVPAT read out - From the arguments presented by both side, we are satisfied that VVPAT is the indispensable part of the EVM and reinforces the faith of people in the democracy. To ensure transparency and restore the trust of people on EVM, VVPAT is necessary because voting is an act of expression of democracy. We are requesting EC for the same."
Describing the urgency of the issue and the need to save democracy, he added:
"Andhra Pradesh elections are over. I am working for the country to save democracy, save transparency. For the past few days, irrespective of our parties, we have been fighting for this demand because there is a democratic compulsion."
Citing EVM failure cases in Telangana where 25 lakh votes were lost due to EVM, he said:
"In Telangana by using IP-7 and have removed 25 lakhs votes. ultimately all people have gone to courts, but nothing had happened. After elections, EC admitted and said sorry. Is this the price to pay?"
Taking an instance in the recently conducted Andhra Pradesh polls, when three poll booths had to keep voting open till 4:30 AM of next day, he questioned the EC whether it was Democracy.
"In the recent Andhra Pradesh polls, 20-30% of EVMs did not function. So they were replaced by 1 pm and polls were closed by 6 pm. Even the Chief Election Officer had to come at 2 pm and vote again. Voting lasted till 4:30 Am in 3 booths. Is this democracy?"
Further attacking the ruling government for lack of transparency, he has said that he will move the Supreme court to meet the Opposition's demand when he spoke to Republic TV after the conference.
"Do you want to rig polls and change the mandate? Then why you are saying opposition party is making such unreasonable demands. I am asking straight demand. Why are hiding and counterattacking? If you are transparent come forward and demand the same thing from the ECI. We have to fight if we want justice and SC is the apex court of justice, which alone can give justice on this urgent issue."
Lok Sabha polling is underway in seven phases for all the 29 states and seven Union Territories beginning from April 11 to May 7, 2019. The results will be announced on May 23, 2019.