Leaders from several Opposition parties recently gathered at the residence of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar to discuss concerns about the viability of electronic voting machines (EVMs) in elections. These leaders have raised doubts about the use of EVMs and intend to urge the Election Commission of India (ECI) to clarify their suspicions. The meeting was not attended by the Trinamool Congress.
During a press conference, Senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh revealed that an all-party meeting to demonstrate the prototype of remote EVMs was turned down after the Opposition parties objected to remote voting. Singh stated that there is apprehension in the country about this issue. The meeting was held after the Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar said that he will address doubts raised by political parties and civil society activists over EVMs.
Congress leader Kapil Sibal also expressed doubts about the electoral process through EVMs, stating that whenever issues with the machines were found, “the vote goes to the BJP.” Sibal questioned why EVMs are being used in India when no other country in the world uses them for voting. He added that the foundation of democracy is at stake if “one man, one vote” can be manipulated.
In May 2022, civil society submitted a letter to the ECI expressing doubts regarding the manipulation of EVMs. Pawar had earlier stated that the meeting was called in the interest of free and fair elections and to hear the views of eminent professionals.