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Now Kejriwal doubts reliability of EVMs, wants ballot papers in MCD polls

Now Kejriwal doubts reliability of EVMs, wants ballot papers in MCD polls

New Delhi: After BSP supremo Mayawati, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Tuesday doubted reliability of electronic voting machines as he sought use of ballot papers in next month's municipal polls in the national capital.

Following a directive from Kejriwal, Delhi Chief Secretary M M Kutty, in a letter to the State Election Commission, asked it to hold the municipal elections through ballot papers.

Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken also threw his weight behind Kejriwal as he asked the chief minister to take steps to ensure that EVMs are not used in the elections which will be held on April 22.

"The chief minister has directed the chief secretary to ask the state election office to hold MCD elections through ballot papers," a source in the CM's office said.

The move comes close on the heels of Mayawati questioning the "reliability" of electronic voting machines (EVMs). She had alleged that they were tampered with in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, where her party suffered a debacle.

Earlier, Maken asked Kejriwal to shun EVMs in the corporation polls.

"Many are doubting EVMs-Not prejudiced-nor casting aspersions on results; I want @ArvindKejriwal to hold MCD elections through Ballot Papers," he had tweeted.

AAP's Jarnail Singh, who lost to former Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal from Lambi, also demanded use of ballots in the elections ahead.

"Although we accept defeat, we have serious doubts over the results in Punjab. There are several villages in the Lambi constituency where we have received less votes than the number of volunteers we have there.

"For the first time, voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) was used in Punjab. When we asked the Returning Officer to tally the number of votes to the VVPATs, he declined to do so," Singh said.

AAP sources said there were 33 assembly constituencies in Punjab where VVPAT was used, and that it would ask the poll panel to verify them again with the number of votes received.

They said the party had been "gathering evidence" before it could officially take up the matter with the poll panel.

Where a paper trail audit or VVPAT is used, the counting agent can call for a count of the paper slips in the drop box attached to the voting machine, but the final count is taken by the Returning Officer.

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