New Delhi: Hours after the Election Commission of India (ECI) rejected the Opposition’s demand for verification of VVPAT slips before counting of votes for Lok Sabha Elections 2019, which will begin at 8 AM on May 23, Congress leader AM Singhvi hit out against the poll body in strong words.

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Addressing a press conference, Abhishek Manu Singhvi attacked the Election Commission and said, “I read out “VVPAT slips have been counted due to either non-display of result from control unit or under rule 56 D of conduct of polls rule or whatsoever ‘the reason shan’t be included in draw of lots for mandatory verification of VVPAT slips’.What’s the reason?”

Dismissing the plea moved by the Opposition, the poll body on Wednesday reportedly said that the counting process will be conducted as per the schedule and VVPAT slips will be counted after EVMs and not prior to it.

Earlier on Tuesday, 22 parties of the Opposition submitted a memorandum before the poll body, requesting that the verification of VVPAT slips of randomly identified polling stations should be done prior to the initiation of counting of votes and not after the completion of last round of counting.

Singhvi then mounted an attack on the BJP and the Prime Minister when he said, “Is it because ‘Chunav Achar Sanhita’ has become ‘Modi Prachar Sanhita’? Won’t you do anything for the credibility of EVMs? Will you make EVMs ‘Electronic Victory Machines’ for BJP? Is it because EC stands for ‘Enfeebled Commission’, ‘Eradicated/Eliminated’ Credibility’?”

THE MEMORANDUM

In the memorandum, the parties have also demanded 100 per cent counting of paper slips of VVPATs of all polling stations in an Assembly segment where any discrepancy is found during the VVPAT verification.

Notably, this is for the first time in a Lok Sabha election that results of voting machines will be matched with slips generated by paper trail machines.

Out of the 543 Lok Sabha seats, elections were held in 542 constituencies as the EC had cancelled polls to the Vellore constituency on the grounds of excessive use of money power. The poll panel is yet to announce a fresh date for elections in Vellore.