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21 opposition parties move SC on voting machines, hearing today

supreme court

New Delhi, March 14: Less than a month before the national elections, the Supreme Court will on Friday hear a petition filed by opposition parties seeking mandatory verification of 50% votes by paper trail before announcing results in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. The petition has been listed for admission in the Supreme Court.
The lead petitioner in the case is Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu. Earlier, leaders from 21 political parties had met the Election Commission last month over the issue of alleged tampering of the EVMs.
The parties that went to court include – the Congress, Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party, Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the Left parties, Samajwadi Party (SP) and Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).
The opposition party leaders had demanded that 50% of counting of votes should be done through EVMs and the rest 50% through VVPATs. They also said the results of the two should be cross-checked before declaration a candidate winner from a Lok Sabha seat.
Announcing the poll schedule on March 10, the Election Commission had said that mandatory checking of the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) will be done for one polling station in each Lok Sabha constituency. The selection of the VVPAT checking with the EVM records will done on the basis of randomly selected polling booth. The VVPAT will be used at all polling stations along with the EVMs in the Lok Sabha polls.
The poll body will use as many as 17.4 lakh VVPAT machines in the conduct of the Lok Sabha and simultaneous assembly elections. The Lok Sabha polls will be held in 7 phases between April 11 and May 19. The votes will be counted on May 23. (Agencies)