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Not allowing for 100 per cent VVPATs is 'terrible anyay' on Indian voter: Cong

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Jairam Ramesh Farmers protest

Jairam Ramesh (File photo)

New Delhi: Calling for greater accountability in using technology in conduct of polls, the Congress Wednesday questioned the Election Commission's "reluctance" to engage with INDIA parties over their demand that the number of VVPATs prescribed be steadily increased towards 100 per cent.

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The opposition party also said that not allowing for 100 per cent VVPATs is a "terrible injustice" on the Indian voter.

In a post on X, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) parties have been requesting for an appointment to meet the Election Commission since June 2023 on the issue of the greater use of VVPATs (Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail) in the election process.

"Not allowing for 100% VVPATs is a terrible ANYAY on the Indian voter," he said.

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On April 8, 2019, the Supreme Court had requested the EC to increase the number of election booths that undergo VVPAT slip matching, he noted.

"The case is N. Chandrababu Naidu vs Union of India '” yes, the same Chandrababu Naidu who was once known as the high-tech Chief Minister. Mr. Naidu was then the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh," Ramesh said.

The demand of the INDIA parties is that the number of VVPATs prescribed cannot be static but must increase steadily increased towards a 100 per cent, he asserted.

"The reluctance of the ECI to engage with the INDIA parties on this issue raises even more questions. Shouldn't the ECI strive for greater accountability and transparency in a technology that it stands by so wholeheartedly?" Ramesh said.

"But of course, Mr Naidu is about to migrate into the NDA, in the meanwhile. Maybe he can convince the Election Commission to give his erstwhile allies an appointment," the Congress general secretary said.

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