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Have been saying since 2003, I don't trust EVMs: Cong's Digvijaya Singh

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New Delhi, Dec 31 (PTI) Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh again raised questions over EVMs on Sunday and demanded that voters be handed over VVPAT slips that can then be put in ballot boxes.

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Responding to a video raising questions about the use of EVMs in elections, Singh stated that he has been saying since 2003 that he does not trust EVMs.

"To whom I want to cast my vote, I don't even know where my vote has been cast. There is no such machine in the world in which a chip is inserted which cannot be hacked. Because the chip will follow the orders of the software embedded in it. You will type 'A' the software will say 'A' and only 'A' will be printed," he said.

"If you press 'panja (Congress' poll symbol)' on EVM, what will be printed if the software says 'lotus'? Panja or lotus? Now the matter comes to this that the VVPAT machine showed you 'panja' for 7 seconds, we went away happy but 'lotus' (BJP's election symbol) will be printed! You can watch this game on Rahul Mehta's video," Singh said in his post.

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He said the Opposition's demand had been that elections be conducted through ballot paper, as is done in all developed countries.

"Counting will take some more time. So be it. But the public will believe that their vote went to the person they wanted it to. Today it is not even known. If @narendramodi ji and our Election Commission @ECISVEEP love EVMs so much then why don't they show the VVPAT slip, give it to us and we will put it in the ballot boxes," he said in his post in Hindi.

What is the objection to this, asked Singh and added that the INDIA bloc is asking for time to meet the Election Commission from August for this demand but "the Election Commission does not have time".

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"What option do we have now? Either go to the Supreme Court or take to the streets against EVM. This is what political parties, especially INDIA, should decide soon," he said.

In another post, he said INDIA bloc political parties are seeking appointment with the Election Commission from August but they are so busy that they don't even have time to meet the opposition.

"Will Honorable CJI take cognizance of this? ECI always says that the Supreme Court has given its decision on EVM. Hobourable CJI, should recognized political parties at your behest not even ask questions regarding EVMs from ECI. Where is justice?" he said.

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Responding to a post by lawyer Prashant Bhushan, Singh also said, "Thanks @pbhushan1 ji. This video is of pre VVPAT and therefore @ECISVEEP would say this issue has been settled. Now the voter can see for 7 seconds which candidate he has voted. But does it mean that the voter should not have the printed VVPAT slip in his hand to ensure that what he has seen has been correctly printed? Printer would obey the command of the software not of the voter. Can we trust the software?" "Who has written the software and who has loaded it in the system? Can't @ECISVEEP be honest and put the software in public domain?" he said.

Singh's remarks come days after the opposition 'INDIA' bloc asserted that there are many doubts about the integrity of the functioning of electronic voting machines and suggested that VVPAT slips be handed over to voters and its 100 per cent counting done later.

Leaders of several opposition parties deliberated on the issue of EVMs, especially after the recent victories of the BJP in the state assembly elections, and felt that the entire opposition coalition should raise the matter unitedly before the people.

According to the Election Commission, mandatory verification of printed voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) slips of five randomly selected polling stations of each assembly constituency or each assembly segment is done in case of election to the House of the People before declaring results. PTI ASK CK

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