NEW DELHI :
Asserting that there are “serious doubts" over electronic voting machines (EVMs), senior Congress leader M. Veerappa Moily has sought a referendum on whether it should be used in the electoral process or ballot papers be brought back.
He also emphasized that such a referendum should be conducted on ballot papers and not on EVMs over which he claimed there was a trust deficit.
“Everybody is suspecting EVM. This is a very serious matter and there is serious doubt on EVM. I think many countries like the US after having used EVM have gone back to manual voting," Moily told PTI in an interview.
He asserted that when serious doubts have arisen, the Election Commission (EC) and the government should act and go back to the ballot paper.
“There are serious doubts and EVM machines will have to be given up to return to the ballot. I think on this question of electoral process itself, even if it is necessary to take referendum from the people, I think the government should do that kind of a referendum," Moily said.
“But again, the referendum not on machines, but on ballot paper. Let them conduct, we will know the truth," the former Union minister said.
If it is in favour of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), it is fine, but at least the doubt will be clear, Moily said.
“Referendum (is needed) because of serious doubts cast upon the electoral system and machines, it has to be done," the former Karnataka chief minister said.
Moily alleged that the EC’s behaviour itself has become suspicious as it “did not do anything" to clear the doubts raised over the electoral process.
Moily’s remarks come days after UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, apparently hinting at EVMs, claimed “many types of doubts" have emerged in the past few years over the country’s electoral processes. “There is a saying that there is no smoke without fire," she said in Rae Bareli last week.