The Election Commission of India (ECI) has been requested to by the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) to take up initiatives to count VVPATs (voter-verifiable paper audit trails) of at least 20 per cent polling stations in each legislative Assembly constituency (LAC) “in the interest of impartial and transparent counting of votes” on May 2.
Per LAC, the counting of VVPATs is done for five polling stations according to the existing norm.
APCC president Ripun Bora in a letter to the chief election commissioner pointed out that “looting of EVMs, suspicious discovery of EVMs in many places, malfunctioning of EVMs, etc” have taken place, due to which the commission is forced to issue an order for re-polls in four polling stations under three LACs.
Bora stated, “Therefore, in the interest of impartial and transparent counting of votes, our Congress party urges upon you for passing suitable instruction to all concerned for taking up the counting of VVPAT of at least 20 per cent polling stations for each LAC instead of counting of VVPAT only for five polling stations per LAC”.
”I sincerely believe that to build up confidence in the minds of people and to prevent, if any, manipulation or malfunctioning in case of EVMs, the counting of VVPATs of 20 per cent polling stations in each LAC will be a landmark decision in the coming days for strengthening parliamentary democracy and to ensure fault-free counting,” he added.
Previously, Congress asked for access to CCTV surveillance across strong rooms to all contesting candidates in the state.