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Odisha: BJD backs EVMs over ballot paper in elections

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Pinaki Misra

Bhubaneswar:  Odisha’s ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) today backed the electronic voting machines (EVMs) over ballot papers in elections.

The BJD made it clear in an all-party meeting convened by the Election Commission in New Delhi on reverting back to ballot paper in place of EVMs in elections and holding simultaneous polls to the Lok Sabha and Assemblies.

BJD Lok Sabha MP Pinaki Mishra, who attended the meeting, said: “BJD didn’t support the parties which oppose EVMs in voting. We will go by what the election commissioner’s decision.”

“We would ideally like the EC to lay down as to what percentage of the VVPAT paper trail they are going to count. Once that is done, I believe everyone should be reasonably satisfied,” the Parliamentarian added.

Parties like the Congress, CPI, Trinamool Congress, BSP and DMK said that there should be return to ballot papers while the BJP and BJD said they were satisfied with EVMs.
Speaking to reporters on the idea of simultaneous elections, he said his party supports the idea of simultaneous elections.

Mishra further said that his party also supports reservation of 33 per cent seats for women in State Assemblies and Lok Sabha.

“We have 33 per cent reservation for women in Urban body polls and Panchayat elections in Odisha. Now, we are demanding the same in Assemblies and Lok Sabha,” he added.

Chief Election Commissioner O.P Rawat said the Commission would take a call on all the issues raised by parties including on EVMs and ballot paper, integrity of electoral rolls and ceiling on expenditure by political parties.

“There will be a satisfactory solution to the issues,” he told reporters after the meeting.