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Is Congress planning to boycott general election 2019?

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Congress to boycott general election 2019?
Image Credit: PTI

Congress along with other like-minded opposition parties in states are planning to call a stir to protest against the present mode of voting in India. According to a reliable source, all the non-BJP parties are coming together on one platform with a demand to switch back to the previous mode of voting ie; ‘Ballot’. The protest will be carried out by the leadership of Congress party. The sole agenda of the whole stir will be to request the ‘Election Commission of India’ to stop the use of Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) to conduct elections, specifically in the upcoming 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Congress has prepared some 300-page dossier in support of their demand to ‘bring back Ballot’ or we will avoid ‘election’ which will be submitted before the Election Commission of India soon. Political parties including Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Samajwadi Party (SP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), All India Trinamool Congress (TMC), Communist Party of India (CPI), Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and Janata Dal-Secular (JDS) are expected to come united on one platform.

This is not the first time when the voice against the drawbacks of EVM is raised. Earlier Aam Aadmi Party legislator Saurabh Bhardwaj had demonstrated how Electronic Voting Machine can be tampered during the special session in Delhi assembly in May 2017. This was done to prove the party’s stance that there were manipulations in the Uttar Pradesh elections which led Bharatiya Janata Party to the huge victory.

Also Watch: US election officials worried as hackers break into EVMs

“I was a computer science engineer for 10 years before becoming an MLA. EVMs can be hacked easily by small engineers. Before voting day, candidates are fooled into believing that the machines are fine,” AAP leader Bhardwaj had said after the session.

Apart from this, during the elections in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, the Samajwadi Party and the RLD had complained about the EVM malfunctioning. It was believed that the voting machines were replaced with the faulty machines at a few places. Then the Election Commission had also assured for a re-poll in few booths.

Image Credit: Getty Image

In other instance opposition parties including Congress, Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samajwadi Party had forced a brief adjournment of the Rajya Sabha proceedings in the context of electronic voting machines hacking.

Also Read: Our machines far more secure than voting machines used abroad: EC

The complaints about the malfunctioning of the EVMs were registered not only in the Assembly elections, municipal polls in Uttar Pradesh also witnessed issues related to the hacking of the voting machine. In Barabanki district of UP, voter came up with the complaints of their names missing from the voter list. There were other complaints where voters claimed that in the Muslim area, names of female voters went missing from the voter list.

So far complaints of EVM hacking has been registered in the High Courts of five states including, Madras High Court, Kerala High Court, Delhi High Court, Bombay High Court, Uttarakhand High Court as well as in the Supreme Court. Now it is to see, which side does the protest turn this time.

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