Chhattisgarh may return to paper ballots for local bodies polls

A cabinet sub-committee constituted by the Baghel government has recommended the use of paper ballots instead of EVMs in the upcoming urban local body elections

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel

NH Web Desk

The Bhupesh Baghel-led Congress government in Chhattisgarh may use paper ballots instead of electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the upcoming urban local bodies elections in the state, scheduled to be held in December.

In a report submitted on Tuesday, cabinet sub-committee constituted by the Baghel government has recommended the use of paper ballots instead of EVMs in the upcoming urban local body elections.

The recommendations by the cabinet sub-committee would be referred to the state cabinet headed by CM Baghel for approval.

The Deccan Chronicle quoted Chhattisgarh Urban Development Minister Shiv Daharia, who is a member of the sub-committee, as saying that the state government may bring an ordinance amending Municipality Elections Act to pave way for use of ballot papers.

The move is significant as the Congress and other non-NDA parties have been expressing concern over the possible misuse of EVMs, suspecting them to be vulnerable to tampering, ever since the BJP swept the 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections. The saffron party won 323 out of 402 seats in UP Legislative Assembly, creating a flutter in the Opposition camp that smelled a rat.

The Congress has returned to power in Chhattisgarh after a gap of 15 years in the 2018 Assembly elections.

Last month, a delegation of local BJP leaders submitted a memorandum to Chhattisgarh State Election Commissioner, demanding that EVMs be used for municipal body elections in the state.

BJP spokesman in Chhattisgarh Sanjay Srivastav opposed the move to use ballot paper in the urban body polls, describing it a “conspiracy by ruling Congress to rig polls”, DC reported.

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