EC won't listen to our concerns over EVMs: Nawab Malik

Mumbai: There is no use of raising the EVM-related concerns before the Election Commission as it is not going to listen, NCP leader Nawab Malik said on Wednesday after meeting the poll panel officials over various issues ahead of the Maharashtra Assembly polls. The NCP and some other opposition parties in the past raised questions over the veracity of the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).

"We talked about it (EVMs) verbally. But they are not going to listen to us, then why raise the issue?" Malik, who is the NCP's chief spokesperson, said after meeting the EC officials here, ahead of the upcoming Maharashtra polls. Malik said his party has also sought that polling be held before Diwali, considering people travel to their native places during the festival time, affecting the voter turnout.

"There is 50 per cent urbanisation in Maharashtra. People leave for their native places during Diwali. So, polling should be held before Diwali," he said. He also demanded that the expenditure limit set for a candidate be increased. "The Supreme Court had ordered that those facing cases should thrice advertise it in prominent newspapers and channels. Now, this alone causes expenses of Rs 5 to 8 lakh," Malik said.

"There are cases against workers when they protest. We said the EC should bear the expenses or in case it does not, the rates charged (for the advertisement) should be as per (those prescribed by) the Directorate General of Information and Public Relations, and not commercial ones," Malik said. The former Maharashtra minister said many a times it was observed previously that security personnel were not aware of all the rules pertaining to elections. Hence, training sessions should be held to ensure the knowledge percolates to their level, he suggested.

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