After 17 political parties decided to demand that 2019 parliamentary polls be held using ballot papers, the ruling party in Tamil Nadu, the AIADMK has also expressed its support to the demand.
As per reports, Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker and AIADMK senior leader M Thambidurai said that the AIADMK is ready to face elections irrespective of the mode of voting. He also said that there was nothing wrong in demanding paper ballots for polls and that many countries in the west prefer ballot papers over Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).
The demand by the opposition parties comes following multiple allegations of EVM tampering in polls conducted in 2017. Although the Election Commission of India (ECI) has reiterated that EVMs are tamper proof and that Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) provide an additional guarantee that voting is accurately captured, the opposition parties have refused to accept it.
The opposition parties - the Trinamool Congress (TMC), the Left, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), the ruling National Democratic Allianceâ€™s (NDA) partner Shiv Sena, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the YSR Congress (YSRC) â€“ will meet on Monday to draw up a plan to stress for a debate on the issue in the Parliament and then take it up with the ECI.
Pointing out that the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu J Jayalalithaa, had, in 2001 approached the court expressing doubts over the credibility of EVMs, Thambidurai said that the AIADMK would support the move if endorsed by the Centre. EVM malfunctioning caused an uproar during the byepolls in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra and the ECI assured that the faulty EVMs will be replaced and that if replacement is not possible, then the ECI will order for a repoll.