Tuesday September 28, 2021

Best substitute to ‘Thappa Mafia’ is EVM: Farrukh

September 13, 2021
Best substitute to ‘Thappa Mafia’ is EVM: Farrukh

FAISALABAD: State Minister for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib said on Sunday that the best substitute to ‘Thappa Mafia’ is Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) but the opposition is cooperating in the regard.

He said that the PTI government was actively assisting the Election Commission of Pakistan to hold fair, free and impartial elections through election reforms. Addressing a press conference during his visit to fruits & vegetable market (Sabzi Mandi) Sadhar here at Jhang Road, he said that past regimes intentionally ignored the important aspect of holding fair, free and impartial elections and after each election, allegations of rigging were levelled by the defeated parties.

He said the PTI government intended to introduce Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) with an aim to ensure a credible election results, but opposition parties were opposing it despite the fact that the clause 103 of the Elections Act 2017 had clearly mentioned that technology could also be used to ensure fair, free and impartial elections.

He said that under article 103, the ECP was empowered to use electronic machines. Similarly, under the clause 94 of the Elections Act 2017, oversees Pakistanis had been given right to vote and for this purpose, the ECP was asked to launch a pilot project to involve the expats in the main election process.

Farrukh Habib said that overseas Pakistanis were sending $30 billion remittances annually but the opposition parties were not willing to give them the right to vote despite their major contribution towards the national economy.

He said the PTI government wanted to help election commission but it was strange that the ECP had raised objections. A group who was in the habit of rigging the polls was opposing transparency in the election process, he added.

He said the ECP also failed to eliminate the bogus votes registered in the previous lists. He said that in a single house, more than 200 votes were registered. Similarly, fake ballot papers were printed by the ‘Thappa Mafia’ who was opposing the EVM.

The state minister said that the objection by ECP were carried by media before it were received by the government. He said the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Information Technology were working on election reforms as true democratic system could only be strengthened by ensuring fair and free elections.

In this connection, more than 50 meetings were held in which deliberations were made to eliminate the genuine reservations of opposition parties, but Maryam, Bilawal and Shehbaz rejected the EVM without evaluating it scientifically, he added. During a question-answer session, Farrukh Habib said that Form-45 would be released three minutes after the completion of polling.