EVMs should provide acknowledgement of choice to voter: BJP


New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Monday told the Election Commission that it should evolve a mechanism to ensure that a voter using the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) gets confirmation about his choice of vote.

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The party has also suggested to the Election Commission on the issue of criminalisation of politics and influence of money power.

The Election Commission Monday met representatives of national and regional political parties separately to discuss issues like paid news, increasing trend of use of money in elections, criminalisation of politics and EVMs.

The national parties attending the meeting included BJP, Congress, Nationalist Congress Party, Communist Party of India-Marxist, Communist Party of India and Bahujan Samaj Party.

BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad told mediapersons that the party wanted that there should be a mechanism to ensure that a voter gets confirmation about the party for which he/she has voted.

“What will be the mechanism, it is for the Election Commission to decide. There should be some acknowledgement for the voter,” Prasad said.

He said the EC expressed some practical difficulties over the suggestion, but the party emphasised that it can be started as a pilot project after finding suitable technological solutions.

Prasad said that all parties expressed concern over the use of money power in elections. “It is crossing all proportions… Packets are distributed… Envelopes reach localities,” he said.

The BJP leader said the party suggested that the poll panel should take action if it gets reports of money being distributed in any area.

He said the party suggested that the Lok Sabha and assembly polls should be held simultaneously to bring down expenses and there should be state funding of elections.

The Left parties also supported the suggestion of state funding of elections, the BJP leader said.

Prasad said there was complete consensus on the issue of paid news and all parties felt that it was affecting free and fair polls.

He said the party suggested that the poll panel should take “proactive” measures on the issue of paid news and consider constituting an expert group which has representatives from the media.

On the issue of criminalisation of politics, Prasad said he had suggested that the Commission can consider banning those candidates against whom charges had been framed in two separate offences of heinous nature.

He said it was for the Election Commission to define heinous crime.

Congress spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan, who also took part in the meeting with the Commission, said the discussions were “very serious”.

“We support use of EVMs with whatever adaptation is required,” she said.