Budget session

For fair polls, use ballot paper: Punjab MLAs

Demand a resolution that no election in the state should take place on EVMs

For fair polls, use ballot paper: Punjab MLAs

MLAs from across the parties in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha today demanded a resolution that no election in the state should take place on electronic voting machines. Photo for representation only

Vishav Bharti

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 9

MLAs from across the parties in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha today demanded a resolution that no election in the state should take place on electronic voting machines.

The issue was raised during the Call Attention by the Lok Insaaf Party’s MLA from Ludhiana Simarjeet Singh Bains, when he said his call attention on EVMs was rejected by the Speaker citing lack of jurisdiction of the state Assembly. He said Under Article 328 of the Constitution, the state government had the right to decide whether it wanted Assembly elections to be conducted via ballot paper or EVM. He said the Seventh Schedule of Constitution gave that right to states.

Technology can be manipulated

Every technology, including EVMs, can be manipulated. If election doesn’t take place on EVMs, the BJP can’t win even a single seat in Punjab. — Navjot Singh Sidhu, Congress leader

Bains said using same provisions, the Speaker of the Maharashtra state Assembly had asked the government to bring a Bill to reintroduce ballot papers in elections in Maharshtra. Following that other MLAs joined the issue and supported Bains. Breaking his silence in the Punjab Assembly after a gap of almost two years, former minister Navjot Singh Sidhu said various first world countries had already rejected the use of EVMs. He said with EVMs, people’s power to elect their representatives was snatched. He called it the biggest attack on democracy. He said the BJP government had compromised every institution of the country.

Leader of Opposition Harpal Singh Cheema also said it had been established that EVMs could be tempered with. He said their party had already raised the issue in Delhi. In Punjab, he said even children knew that EVMs were fraud and the system should come to an end. He also demanded resolution of the House against EVMs.

Agreeing to the demand, Shiromani Akali Dal MLA Sharnjeet Dhillon said the BJP government in The Centre was capable of doing anything to remain in power. AAP MLA Kanwar Sandhu said whatever Navjot Singh Sidhu had said about the system of EVMs concluded the whole issue.

When contacted, State Election Commissioner Dr S Karuna Raju expressed inability to comment on the issue as he said he was unaware of the development in the Punjab Assembly.

Tribune Shorts


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