Administration

Opposition parties complain to EC, demand removal of BJP’s name from EVMs

A delegation formed by the opposition parties complained to the Election Commission on Saturday stating that the party’s name was displayed only under the BJP symbol on electronic voting machines during a mock drill in West Bengal’s Barrackpore constituency.

However, the election watchdog has alleged that the same pattern was used for the party in the Lok Sabha elections of 2014.

Senior Congress leaders Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Ahmed Patel, Derek O’Brien and Dinesh Trivedi of the Trinamool Congress met Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora in connection with the matter.

The delegation has demanded that all such EVMs should be removed from the polls for the leftover phases or the names of other parties too should be displayed in a similar manner on the voting machines.

Former Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi, who is also a sitting MP from Barrackpore, said this was a “clear fraud on the people” and “an attempt to hack the EVMs”. He also represented purported photographs of the EVM where the party symbol of ‘a lotus’ included the word BJP.

The electronic voting machines display the party symbols, name of the candidates and their photographs. “On EVMs, the letters ‘BJP’ are visible under the party’s symbol. No other party’s name is there. Either remove all machines which mention BJP clearly or all other parties’ names should be added in all such machines. Till then the use of these machines has to be totally stopped in the elections,” Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi stated.

The Election Commission, in a letter to the chief electoral officer of West Bengal, has said that it has received a complaint regarding the use of a party’s name in ballots and that the same symbol was used by the BJP in the 2014 elections.

“There is nothing to suggest that it reflects the name of the party,” the EC letter stated.

BJP’s Arjun Singh is contesting from the Barrackpore constituency, while Dinesh Trivedi is the candidate for Trinamool Congress.

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