THE president of the Tripura unit of BJP, Biplab Deb, has in a public meeting, cast aspersions on the objectivity and fairness of the electronic voting machines and dared the chief minister of Tripura to lodge a complaint against him. This comes in the background of the widespread apprehensions about EVMs. CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury has written a letter to the chief election commissioner on April 15, demanding among other things that in elections in Tripura, EVMs with voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) should be used. A video of the relevant part of the BJP state president’s speech has also been submitted to the chief election commissioner along with the clippings from the major print media dailies in the state.
Yechury wrote, in the light of widespread apprehensions regarding the neutrality and fairness of EVMs that are being voiced across the country, such outrageous statements destroy the foundations of the Election Commission’s declared objective of conducting free and fair elections. The Election Commission, a constitutional authority, is the only body that can ensure the conduct of free and fair elections which is the bedrock of our democratic system.
He requested the chief election commissioner to act immediately both to punish the concerned individual appropriately and to give an assurance to the people of Tripura that the Election Commission is committed to ensuring a free and fair poll in the state.
In the light of these developments, it is imperative that the EVMs that will be used in the state of Tripura must all be linked with the voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT). This is the least that can be done to restore some confidence amongst the Tripura electorate on the free and fairness of the electoral process in the coming elections, wrote Yechury.