Tension Mounts as Opposition and BJP Present Petitions Before Poll Body

Tension Mounts as Opposition and BJP Present Petitions Before Poll Body

With just two days remaining until the Lok Sabha election results are revealed, the political landscape is heating up with two significant petitions presented before the Election Commission of India (ECI). These petitions, one from the Opposition INDIA bloc and the other from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), have added to the already tense atmosphere surrounding the election outcome.

The BJP, in a letter signed by Union Ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Piyush Goyal, accused the Opposition of directly attacking democratic institutions and posing a threat to the electoral process. They cautioned the Election Commission against what they termed as “coordinated attempts” by the Opposition to undermine the integrity of the electoral process.

The BJP highlighted recent events, including a hearing on Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in the Supreme Court, to support their claims. They alleged a pattern where the Opposition first targets institutions, then challenges the process and methods, and finally raises questions and objections regarding the election process and EVMs when they anticipate defeat.

Meanwhile, the Opposition INDIA bloc met with the Election Commission to ensure that all guidelines are followed during the counting process on Tuesday. Among other concerns, they emphasized the need for security measures for EVMs and Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail machines (VVPATs). They stressed the importance of verifying the control units of EVMs through CCTV-monitored corridors to maintain authenticity.

The Opposition’s concerns about EVMs have been previously dismissed by the Supreme Court, which upheld the reliability of the machines but also introduced precautionary measures. Despite this, the Opposition remains vigilant, citing instances such as the temporary shutdown of CCTV cameras at a location storing EVMs for the Baramati Lok Sabha constituency.

As the country awaits the election results, these petitions and the ongoing debate surrounding EVMs underscore the high stakes and intense scrutiny surrounding the electoral process. With both sides expressing concerns and seeking assurances from the Election Commission, the stage is set for a dramatic culmination to the Lok Sabha elections.

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