A time for electoral reform
A debate in Rajya Sabha last week raised important questions. These, like the Election Commission’s proposals and recommendations, must no longer remain unaddressed.
The immediate provocation for the debate was BSP supremo Mayawati’s allegation of manipulation of EVMs in the recent UP assembly elections. Illustration by Subrata Dhar
The debate on electoral reforms in the Rajya Sabha on March 22 was heartwarming — the civility with which it was conducted the icing on the cake. Members of political parties tend to avoid discussions on electoral reforms, except in private conversations. But the participation in the debate on that day was so enthusiastic that the deputy chairman had to extend the discussion to twice the time that is normally allotted to a short duration discussion — two-and-a half hours to five hours.
The immediate provocation for the debate was BSP supremo Mayawati’s allegation of manipulation of EVMs in the recent UP assembly elections. As expected, issues about EVMs took up a major part of the discussion. While a return to ballot papers was mentioned, most speakers demanded the use of VVPATs (voter-verified paper audit trail) in the forthcoming elections to the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh assemblies, and eventually in the Lok Sabha elections of 2019.
Read more at: http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/evm-manipulationvote-counting-election-commissionup-electionsmayawati-4593042/
Indian Express, March 31, 2017
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