Monday , July 16 2018

After state EC, Delhi Lt Governor rejects Kejriwal’s demand for ballot voting in municipal polls

Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal on Thursday rejected the demand of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for holding municipal elections in the state by using ballot papers and not Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).

Arvind Kejriwal

Delhi: Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal on Thursday overruled the demand of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for holding municipal elections in the state by using ballot papers and not Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).

The After state EC, Delhi Lt Governor rejects Kejriwal’s demand for ballot voting in municipal polls on informed Kejriwal that changing the mode of polling was not possible at this stage due to time limitation.

Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal pointed out that the rules will have to be revised for shunning the EVMs and it was not feasible to make the changes as little over a month is left for the municipal polls.

In the backdrop of AAP’s poor performance in assembly polls in Punjab, Kejriwal on Wednesday supposed that it could be due to EVM tampering and oblique for holding the 22 April municipal polls using ballot papers.

Kejriwal’s assertions came as BSP Chief Mayawati, who had made related claims after her party was demolished in the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls, stated that she will move court against the suspected tampering of EVMs.

The EC has criticised the allegations of EVM tampering as “wild and baseless”.

Kejriwal had even demanded Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal to call a meeting of all political parties and the state EC to discover the possibility of using ballot papers in the municipal polls.

Anil Baijal stated that it is not possible to revise the existing rules to hold municipal corporations elections at a time when polls dates have already been announced by the State EC. All 3 civic bodies polls will be held on 22 April and the results will come out on 25 April.

Kejriwal had also allegedly met Anil Baijal yesterday and requested him to agree his proposal.

The Delhi Lt Governor stated that it is not possible to hold elections to all 3 civic bodies through ballot papers. Rules cannot be revised at this stage when poll dates were announced, the sources in Lt Governor’s secretariat stated.

The Lt Governor has also cited that voting through ballot papers requires huge logistical support and, hence, “it would not be possible for him to approve to the proposal”, they stated.

Earlier this week, state election commissioner S.K. Srivastava had also stated that the commission had started the preparations for the polls keeping in mind the use of EVMs only.

S.K. Srivastava stated that if the Delhi government wants voting through ballot papers, rules have to be revised first, which was a time-consuming exercise.

On the Chief Minister’s allegations of EVM tampering, the Delhi Lt Governor’s view is that there has been no instance of tampering of the EVMs in the past.

The sources added that the Lt Governer has told the CM that Municipal Corporation of Delhi elections had also been held in 2007 and 2012 as also the bypoll in 2016 using EVMs.

Kejriwal had suspected that EVM tampering in Punjab could be part of a collusion to keep the AAP out of power in the state.

The AAP chief, whose party won 20 seats in the 117-member Assembly with a vote share of 24.9%, had also claimed that around 20 to 25% of its votes may have been “transferred” to the SAD-BJP coalition, which finished third.

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