No return to ballot paper, improved EVMs in Congress manifesto
The Congress, which has been demanding return to ballot papers, made no mention of it in its election manifesto released on Tuesday even as it promised to make electronic voting machines (EVMs) tamperproof, suggesting elections would continue to happen through EVMs if the party comes to power.
In its manifesto 'Congress will deliver' released here about 10 days ahead of the first phase of Lok Sabha elections, the party also promised to scrap the "opaque" Electoral Bond Scheme, which it said, was designed to favour the ruling party.
It also promised setting up a "national election fund", steps to curb black money in election campaigns, and more free airtime on Doordarshan and All India Radio for recognised political parties during elections.
"Congress will ensure that EVMs and VVPATs (voter-verified paper audit trail) are tamperproof. During counting, the count in at least 50 per cent of the EVMs will be matched against the physical count of the voting slips in the corresponding VVPATs," the manifesto said.
"The greatest challenge to free and fair elections is the Election Commission's inability to prevent the use of black money in election campaigns and the use of inducements to influence voters. We will take steps to curb and eliminate this menace," it added.
The party said the national election fund it proposed to set up would accept contribution from any willing person and funds wwould be allocated at the time of elections to recognised political parties in accordance with criteria laid down by law.
"We will allocate substantially more free airtime on All India Radio and Doordarshan at the time of elections to recognised political parties in accordance with criteria laid down by law," it said. - IANS