Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], December 7 (ANI): BJP leader and Leader of Opposition in West Bengal Assembly Suvendu Adhikari on Tuesday said that a delegation of party leaders met with West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar and urged that Electronic Voting Machines being used by the State Election Commission across the state should have Voter Verified Paper Audit Trails (VVPATs) to ensure transparency.
"We urged that all EVMS to be used by State Election Commission across West Bengal should have VVPATs to ensure transparency," said Adhikari while talking to media after the meeting.
This comes ahead of the upcoming Kolkata Municipal Corporation polls.
Earlier, the delegation of leaders led by Adhikari, also comprising of Dinesh Trivedi, Pratap Banerjee, Agnimitra Paul, Shishir Bajoria and Loknath Chatterjee had met the governor Jagdeep Dhankar and expressed their disappointment with the SEC's pro-government stance and demand him to intervene.
WB BJP delegation led by LOP WBLA @SuvenduWB , comprising @PratapWBBJP @DinTri
@paulagnimitra1 @shishirkb and Loknath Chatterjee in its meeting with Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar today expressed disappointment at pro govt stance of SEC and sought intervention," Dhankar had said in a tweet.
Also, the delegation on Tuesday wrote to the State Election Commission (SEC) seeking confirmation over the deployment of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) during the Kolkata Municipal Corporation polls.
"On a few earlier occasions, we have approached the Commission for the deployment of CAPF, each time we have been told this will be decided once the State Government submits the policing plan. We seek your confirmation that the Commission is taking steps to deploy CAPF. We once again remind you of 2013 when the State Election Commission had approached the Hon'ble Supreme Court and Central Forces were deployed. Keeping the post-poll (Vidhan Sabha) violence in mind and the current threats that are being made to our candidates, agents and workers deployment of CAPF is a must for free, fair and peaceful polls. If any unfortunate incident happens we will hold the Commission responsible," reads the letter.
The delegation also urged that EVMs used for the elections should have the provision for VVPATs, citing a ruling by the Supreme Court stating that VVPATs are an integral part of EVMs.
"Else, it shall raise doubts about the sanctity of the entire electoral exercise. Every voter needs to ascertain in whose favour he/ she has voted. You are called upon not to use any EVM without the provision of VVPATs," added the letter.
According to the notification issued by the State Election Commission (SEC) on November 25, voting will be held on December 19 from 7 am to 5 pm. The counting of votes will be held on December 21.
This will be the first major electoral battle in West Bengal after the May 2021 assembly polls, which the Trinamool Congress won comprehensively.
The Mamata Banerjee-led TMC registered a landslide victory in polls winning 213 seats in the 294-member West Bengal assembly. The BJP lost the polls but emerged as the second-largest party with 77 seats. (ANI)