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Oppn raises EVM issue at all party meet; will consider all suggestions, says CEC


New Delhi, The opposition parties on Monday raised the issue of ‘malfunctioning’ of the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) at an all party meeting called by the Election Commission to discuss electoral reforms with the All India Trinamool Congress demanding that ballot papers be use din all futr e elecitons, including the Lok Sabha elections. The Election commission said that it will cosndier all suggestions by the various parties to improve the integrity of elections. Sources said that at the meeting, the opposition, led by the Congress, reiterated their stand that voters doubted the genuineness of EVMs and the issue needs to be sorted.The demanded a cross check on the EVMS being used for the voting . The Trinamool Congress demanded the use of ballot paper in the future polls, including coming Lok Sabha election. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, the Chief Election Commissioner O.P Rawat said some political parties have raised the issue of the problems with EVMs and VVPATS. "These things have been noted down by the Commission", Mr Rawat said. He also said all political parties gave positive and constructive in suggestions in improving the integrity of elections. "The Commission will take all the suggestions, examine and will do whatever needs to be done to improve the election process", the CEC said.The Election Commission had invited seven registered national and 51 state political parties to discuss reforms regarding the electoral system. Along with Congress and Trinamool Congress, Left Parties, BSP, Aam Aadmi Party, Janata Dal (S), Telugu Desham Party (TDP) Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Samajwadi Party (SP) Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), DMK too were in agreement regarding the doubts surrounding the EVMs, sources said. As per the Commission, the agenda for the meeting was finality of electoral rolls, encourage political parties to increase representation of women within the organisational structure of the political party, as well as in the candidate selection for contesting elections to legislative bodies, issues of expenditure ceiling for elections and limiting political party expenditure, measures to ensure timely submission of annual audited reports and election expenditure report. Though the issue of holding simultaneous polls have been a points of contention for sometime, the Election Commission did not include it in the agenda.The poll body had clarified its position that simultaneous polls cannot be held without legal framework.

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