NCP chief Sharad Pawar (File)
Raising the issue of the electronic voting machines (EVMs) controversy, NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Sunday said all Opposition parties are going to demand for the use of ballot papers in the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. “The Election Commission officials have reportedly commented that the Opposition has been raising doubts over the use of EVMs during elections after the loss of candidates. However, the NCP won the recently-held bye-poll for the Bhandara-Gondia Lok Sabha seat but raised concerns over EVMs at 64 booths that faced problems on the polling day, which the election office has admitted,” Pawar said at the Foundation Day programme of the NCP in the city, which also marked the conclusion of the ‘Halla Bol’ rally in western Maharashtra.
“All Opposition parties are going to request the Election Commission to not use EVMs in the next elections. But will demand the old ballot paper system,” he added.
The NCP chief said the graph of the BJP is coming down and the country’s mood is indicated by the recent bye-poll results, including that of the Bhandara-Gondia Lok Sabha seat. The BJP won the Palghar seat but because of a division of votes among candidates of other political parties, he said.
“Everyone in the country now needs change. The situation might be different in every state with dominance of regional parties. All are now having a mindset to come together and take on the BJP,” Pawar said. The NCP chief said the process of bringing like-minded people together for contesting the election has been completed and party workers should implement it on the ground as a change in rule is required both in the Union and the state government.