The opposition parties displayed a united front on Sunday, April 14, the afternoon after they attended a meeting and decided that the 2019 Lok Sabha elections which are already underway should return to ballot paper voting since the Electronic Voting Machines or EVMs were allegedly malfunctioning.
The allegations were first brought up by Telugu Desam Party president and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu who brought up the issue news came from many parts of the country including Andhra Pradesh where the first phase of the elections was held on April 11, Thursday, that the EVMs were not working.
While addressing the media on Sunday, Babu said, "We are raising doubts about the EVMs. The confidence of the voter can only be restored through paper trail machines. Even an advanced country like Germany has changed for the paper ballot. The Netherlands also moved to paper ballots."
He added that according to official information, 4,583 EVMs stopped working in Andhra Pradesh alone on Thursday. "I have never seen such an insensitive, unrealistic, irresponsible and useless Election Commission. Do you make a mockery of democracy? The EC has turned into BJP branch office," said Babu said in anger.
On April 13, the TDP chief demanded a repoll for the votes cast in Andhra Pradesh in 618 polling booths. He said that due to the malfunctioning EVMs, many people left and did not come back to cast their votes. According to The News Minute, he specified that he wants a repoll for the votes cast after 6 pm on Thursday. He also alleged that the last vote was cast at 4:30 am on Sunday morning.
In a letter to the Election Commission, Babu wrote, "These inconsistencies should not arise when the same code is burnt on to the One Time Programmable (OTP) Chips. It shows that there is a possibility of changing the machine or chip or duplication of the motherboard inside the machine. This puts a question mark on the whole polling considering that 100% of polling is done on these machines, placing the democracy at risk."