After the Supreme Court junked some opposition parties’ review plea for 50 per cent VVPAT verification in the Lok Sabha polls, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday said he would not give up the fight for transparency in the election process.
Twenty-one opposition leaders, including Naidu, National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah, CPI leader D Raja and Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi, had filed a plea seeking review of the apex court’s April 8 order directing the Election Commission to increase random matching of VVPAT slips with EVMs to five polling booths per assembly segment.
The opposition parties had demanded that the number be raised to 50 per cent of total booths.
“We respect the Supreme Court’s order…but the party will not give up and continue its fight for transparency in the election process in the country. It’s absolutely critical for the EC to work transparently to ensure free and fair elections,” Naidu said in a statement.
The Election Commission should be responsible for the honest execution of the Supreme Court’s April 8 order. In case of any discrepancy, voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) slips should be matched with EVM results in the entire constituency, the Telugu Desam Party chief said.
On the EC’s claim that the counting of all VVPAT slips may delay the results by five days, Naidu said, “It’s just a matter of a few days. The poll panel should choose credibility and transparency over other things.”
The TDP had earlier alleged large-scale EVM malfunctioning in Andhra Pradesh during the April 11 elections for the 25 Lok Sabha seats and to elect a new 175-member Assembly.