Gujarat polls: AAP, Cong raise concern over VVPAT machines

SansadTV Bureau
File photo of newly named Chief Election Commissioner Achal Kumar Joti.

File photo of newly named Chief Election Commissioner Achal Kumar Joti.

The Election Commission (EC), led by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) AK Joti, was on a visit to the poll bound Gujarat to review the state’s preparedness ahead of the Assembly polls. The CEC met representatives of registered political parties including that of BJP and Congress. The political parties put forward their demands to the Commission on Monday.

The BJP demanded that the polls be held after December 14, as the period between December 5 and December 14 is considered auspicious for marriages.

The ruling party also sought a relaxation in the rules pertaining to polling agents and said the EC should provide a single-window system to the candidates, so that they did not have to approach multiple officials.

The Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) voiced a demand for a random count of the voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) slips and that it be digitally established that the VVPAT machines were working properly.

The Congress also demanded that tainted officers be debarred from being deployed on election duty and that those on poll duty were made to cast their votes during their election training sessions.

It also sought that the officers concerned be prosecuted if names of voters were found missing from the voters’ list.

The CEC also flagged off a mobile EVM-VVPAT Demonstration Centre, which would go to all the Assembly segments of Gandhinagar to raise awareness about the VVPAT machines.

The delegation, comprising of election commissioners OP Rawat and Sunil Arora, along with another dozen other senior officials of the poll panel, also held a meeting with the district election officers and senior police officers in Gandhinagar.

The EC officials are now scheduled to meet top officials of the state administration.

(With inputs from PTI)