Congress wants to go back to paper ballots

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The Congress is set to roll out a roadmap for reversing its downward electoral journey and restoring its past glory ahead of the 2019 general election in its two-day plenary session that began in Delhi on Saturday.

Party president Rahul Gandhi hailed the old guard as he opened the session, but said the way forward was in taking the youth along.

Being held after a gap of seven years, the theme of the 84th plenary session of the 132-year-old Congress party will be ‘Change is Now’, and will see Gandhi put forward the party’s plan for the future.

Electronic voting machines, first introduced in state elections two decades ago, should be dumped and India should go back to using paper ballot papers, the Congress said today, putting its weight behind the opposition chorus against the voting machines.

Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati had first made allegations of rigged EVMs soon after the 2017 UP election results were announced. The BJP had won 325 of UP’s 403 seats along with allies, leaving very little to be shared among the rest. Ms Mayawati had to settle for 19 seats. Other opposition parties in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh soon joined her

The Election Commission has consistently defended the voting machines, insisting that they were tamper proof. Beginning with the 2017 assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, the poll panel started using an additional device that presents a paper receipt to confirm that the vote went to candidate selected by the candidate.
But the Congress isn’t the first party to demand that the country go back to ballot papers.

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