Counting of 50 per cent votes through VVPATs can be done “within no time”: N Chandrababu Naidu

Chennai (Tamil Nadu): Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday said counting of 50 per cent votes through VVPAT can be done “within no time” and even a “child can tell how much time it will take”.

Naidu also demanded an answer from BJP and its allies for opposing 50 per cent Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) count.

“They have to answer why they are opposing VVPAT counting? It is available in the ballot box, 50 per cent just like the currency with only a name and symbol, you can segregate it and count it within no time, even a child can tell how much time it will take. These people are saying 6 days. Why 6 days they have to answer? They have to convince people and not push something,” said Naidu.

“We are demanding 50 per cent VVPAT counting, it will give more credibility to Election Commission (EC) and also it will create more trust amongst voters. To create confidence and trust amongst voters is very important,” he said.

Opposition leaders on April 14, including TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu, Congress’ Abhishek Manu Singhvi and AAP’s national convenor Arvind Kejriwal, questioned the reliability of the electronic voting machines (EVMS) and demanded a mandatory paper trail count in at least 50 per cent of the Assembly constituencies in all Lok Sabha seats.

Naidu had on Saturday met EC officials and demanded that the poll watchdog should revert to ballot paper system immediately to “preserve the sanctity and protect the spirit of the electoral process and democracy”.

The Supreme Court on April 8, ordered the EC to increase the VVPAT count of one randomly selected electronic voting machine per Assembly constituency to five in the Lok Sabha polls, saying that it is to ensure the “greatest degree of accuracy and satisfaction” in the electoral process. The court was hearing a petition by 21 parties, led by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, seeking random count of VVPAT of at least 50 per cent of the EVMs per Assembly segment in a Lok Sabha seat before the declaration of result.

The court’s order came in after the petitioners submitted on Saturday that they were agreeable to a delay of even five days in the declaration of the Lok Sabha poll results if the Election Commission approved their demand for verification of 50 per cent votes through the paper trail.