SHILLONG, Dec 22 - Political parties in Meghalaya has raised concerns over EVMs before the Chief Election Commissioner of India, Achal Kumar Joti during his visit here today and also raised the issue of citizens of Nepal having voting rights through Service Voter Identity Card.
Nationalist Congress Party, United Democratic Party and Khun Hynniewtrep and National Awakening Movement raised concerns over the use of EVMs. �The use of EVMs is fishy,� NCP general secretary, S Thapa said.
UDP, which has been vocal against use of EVMs and also passed a resolution in its executive committee meeting recently on the issue, said they have raised the matter again with the CEC.
Bindo Lanong, UDP working president, said, the party has submitted its resolution against use of EVMs before the CEC. �Why can�t a small State like Meghalaya having 60 seats go for ballot paper? Over 50 per cent of the population has raised doubts over the EVMs,� Lanong said after the party�s meeting with the CEC.
Lanong, however, said, the CEC seemed to be �a nice person� and has assured that the EVMs are �not tamperable� as these are stand-alone machines. Joti has also assured that if any doubts are raised during the election process the Election Commission would look into the matter.
�He has given an assurance to us and so we would now work out with the State Election Commission�s office with some of the finer details of our concerns,� he added. Similarly, KHNAM raised the issue of EVMs and also sought that a minimum education qualification and retirement age for politicians be fixed.
NPP had no such concerns over the EVMs and sought more security during the election process. The party said during the recent MP bye-polls in Tura, candidates were moving around with �heavy security� violating the model code of conduct.
Meanwhile, NCP raised the issue of security personnel stationed in the State Capital in the Assam Regimental Centre and Gorkha Training Centre having Service Voter Identity Card and exercising their franchise in the State elections through postal ballot long after being posted outside Meghalaya.
Meanwhile, VVPATs are being used for the first time during these elections for all the 60 seats. One booth from each constituency would be selected randomly and the paper trails would be counted to corroborate with the EVM results.