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Maha Speaker seeks law to give ballot paper option to voters

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
February 03, 2021 02:15 IST
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Maharashtra Speaker Nana Patole on Tuesday said he has asked the state legislature to frame a law to give voters the option of using ballot papers besides electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the local governing bodies' and state assembly polls.

 

IMAGE: Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Nana Patole. Photograph: Sunny Shende/ANI Photo

According to a statement issued on Patole's Facebook page, one Pradeep Uke from Nagpur had moved an application in this regard before the Speaker and accordingly, a meeting was held to discuss the same at Vidhan Bhavan in Mumbai.

State Medical Education Minister Amit Deshmukh, the state's chief electoral officer Baldev Singh and others were also present for the meeting, the statement said.

Speaking to PTI, Patole said, "I have asked the state government to frame a law in this connection. The state government can frame a law. In the past, doubts were raised during the elections (about EVM tampering)."

Voting is a fundamental right and one should have the option of casting vote using ballot papers or EVM, he said.

Several parties, including the Congress, had in the past urged the Election Commission to revert to the ballot paper system, alleging tampering of EVMs in polls.

Representing the applicant on Tuesday, advocate Satish Uke said it is the right of voters from the state to have the option of casting their votes via ballot paper as well.

According to the statement, he said it should be left to people to decide whether EVMs or ballot papers are trustworthy and it is the legislature's responsibility to frame a law keeping in mind public sentiments.

Several opposition parties across the country have in the past alleged tampering of EVMs and demanded reverting to the ballot paper system.

However, the Bharatiya Janata Party had previously hit out at the opposition parties for raising doubts over the credibility of EVMs.

In Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party and Congress are in power under the aegis of the Maha Vikas Aghadi, while the BJP is in the opposition in the state.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra© Copyright 2021 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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