March 10, 2021 10:21:40 am
The ruling Congress and the principal opposition party Aam Aadmi Party on Tuesday strongly batted for replacing Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) with ballot papers after Lok Insaf Party (LIP) MLA Simarjeet Singh Bains raised the issue during the zero hour on the penultimate day of budget session.
Pointing out that a call attention moved by him on the issue was rejected by the Vidhan Sabha Speaker was rejected on grounds that it was not a State Assembly subject, Bains said the Speaker of Maharashtra Assembly had asked to bring in a resolution following a report of the House committee constituted on his (Speaker’s) orders.
Bains added that the committee in Maharashtra Assembly was formed on the directions of Speaker. He added that following the committee report and on the basis of power vested with the State under Article 328 of the Constitution, Maharashtra Assembly Speaker had directed to introduce a bill in that regard.
As Punjab Vidhan Sabha Speaker Rana K P Singh said the House would examine the issue, Congress MLA and former minister Navjot Sidhu strongly supported the move by Bains and said EVMs should be replaced with ballot papers.
Sidhu said, “We follow the first world countries….for development…In America and England, the EVMs are not acceptable. Any technology can be manipulated, but ballot papers cannot be manipulated.”
Calling EVM mode of counting as “biggest flaw in democracy”, Sidhu referred to an election result in Punjab where difference of votes was similar in “16 rounds”. He added that it was “not humanely possible”.
Sidhu also said that if EVMs were replaced with ballot papers in the coming assembly elections in the State, BJP will not win even a single seat.
AAP MLA and leader of opposition Harpal Singh Cheema too opposed EVMs and sought a resolution to that effect. Cheema added that apart from Assembly elections, elections to municipal bodies should also be held using ballot papers.
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