Press Trust of india

DMK hits out at poll body for sticking to VVPAT last norm

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Chennai, May 22 :  The DMK on Wednesday wondered if the Election Commission's move to stick to counting VVPAT slips at the end of the counting process was a democratic act, ignoring demands by 22 opposition parties against it.

The main opposition party in Tamil Nadu hit out at the poll body, saying its decision has blurred the distinction between an independent institution and the Central government.

"Is this democracy...? Will the Election Commission listen only to Prime Minister Narendra Modi..? senior DMK leader Duraimurugan asked.

He pointed out that the EC's reported move to count VVPAT slips at the end comes despite as many as 22 Opposition parties urging the slip count in the beginning.

"The distinction between the Election Commission and the Central government has gone," he told PTI when contacted for his party's stand on the EC's decision.

The top party leader alleged that the incumbent election commissioners have forgotten that the EC is an independent body.

The opposition parties had approached the EC on Tuesday demanding VVPATs be counted first -prior to counting EVM votes votes- and in case of problems or mismatch, all VVPAT slips be counted.

The Commission on Wednesday is learnt to have decided to follow the established procedure of counting VVPAT slips for the mandatory five polling stations per assembly segment of each parliamentary constituency at the end of the entire counting process.

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